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Bishop Basil, Clergy and Faithful Join in Holy Land Pilgrimage

Venerating the Relics of St. GeorgeVenerating the Relics of St. GeorgeOn August 18, 2010, 43 pilgrims including His Grace Bishop Basil, joined pilgrimage organizer Fr. Joseph Abud (St. George Church, Flint, Michigan) for a journey which would later be described as "life changing" by Kh. Cindy Baize (Holy Transfiguration Mission, Hillsboro, Kansas). At one of the holiest seasons of the year which included the Feasts of the Transfiguration and the Dormition on the Old Calendar, the American faithful joined pilgrims from all over the world as they venerated the relics of saints and visited sites that even Orthodox tours pass over. "Our guide said he had never seen a group received as well as our group and he heard and saw things which he never had access to before." enthuses Bishop Basil. The packed schedule included a nightly Bible study and debriefing session, and some of the travelers even attended the midnight liturgies served daily at the tomb of Christ. Readers can browse the gallery of photos taken by Fr. David Moretti of St. George, Terre Haute, Indiana.

"I prayed for you all facing the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee," writes Bishop Basil on August 21. Read on for the rest of his pilgrimage diary.

Wednesday, 18 Aug. 2010

Visited St Peter Church (Orth) over house of St Tabitha house of Simon the Tanner, St Michael Monastery (Orth) with its church of St Tabitha. On to Lydda.

Pilgrim groups are here from Greece, Romania, Russia, and us (and probably others we haven't seen yet).

OCF's College Student Sunday is Sept. 19

OCF has announced their annual event, College Student Sunday, which will take place Sunday Sept. 19, 2010.

Writes the OCF, "Over the past 50 years, campus ministry has made a presence in the Orthodox Church. We would like to ask all of you to make a presence this year for Orthodox college students at your parish. Now more than ever is the time to raise awareness.

Over the past few years the national average of young adults leaving the Church has been 6 out of 10. Recently the Pew Research Institute declared the average is quickly growing to 7 out of 10. We would like to encourage each of you to visit our website to find the resources you will need to conduct a presentation. If you are unable to make the presentation, please ask some to fill in for you. Thank you for your support of campus ministry!!!"

Endorsed by the Episcopal Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in North America, this observance is designed to draw attention to the importance of ministering to our college age Orthodox Christian Students. Parishes are reminded that young Orthodox Christians are attending college in their cities and towns, and the faithful are encouraged to connect with these college students in order to provide a parish home away from home. For more information, contact the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.

"Icons: Windows to Heaven" Iconographers Interviewed Prior to Fall Village Event

"Icons: Windows to Heaven"

Getting To Know the Iconographers

Cheryl Ann Pituch and Niko Chocheli will be presenting workshops at Antiochian Village for the event, “Icons: Windows to Heaven,” November 4–7, 2010. Vasiliki Oldziey, Christian Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Wichita and the Midwest, interviewed them this summer. The Department of Christian Education sponsors the annual Orthodox Institute, and the theme of this year’s event is iconography. The Institute will include several courses on iconography and provide participants an opportunity to learn how to write icons (“Utilizing Crafts”). Teacher-training courses and the Church School Director Seminar are also scheduled for the Institute. Amateur or professional iconographers are encouraged to bring an icon for our “Festival of Orthodoxy” display. If you love icons, don’t miss this opportunity! For more information or a brochure, please e-mail the department at aodce@aol.com, or visit our website.

Cheryl Ann Pituch

Cheryl Ann has been married for thirty-eight years to Eugene Pituch and is the mother of four children and the grandmother of two. She currently resides in Davidsville, Pennsylvania, a small town in the Laurel Mountains, 92 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Her icons are featured in the current Icon Calendar from Conciliar Press.Icon Calendar, 2010Icon Calendar, 2010

1. Icons were not part of your early life. Tell us how icons have changed your life.  

I grew up in the Presbyterian Church and was taught that any statues or “pictures” were never to be kissed or prayed before in any way. I struggled to understand icons, in order to embrace the faith. I have been an Orthodox Christian for 32 years and have been painting for about 26 years. Now, I can’t imagine life without icons. The most dramatic change in my life with icons is prayer. Icons open constant opportunities to pray. They have changed my life just by being visible and witnessing (in their silence) their love for God, and stirring my heart to do more.

New Season of Learning Begins Sept. 12

Some of the busiest people in Antiochian parishes currently, are teachers and church school directors preparing to kick off the 2010/2011 Sunday School year. Supporting all of this activity is the Department of Christian Education, headed by experienced educator Carole Buleza. Antiochian.org was able to catch up with Carole and find out about how her department is making a difference in the lives of teachers and children in parishes all across the country. Last summer in a groundbreaking presentation at the Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village, Carole outlined "a new way thinking about Orthodox catechesis." 

1. Can you articulate for us your philosophy of Orthodox Christian Education, as it has developed over your years of experience?

My philosophy of successful Orthodox Christian Education developed first of all from my childhood. I was raised in a home where Sunday was for church and visiting, the holy days meant going to church, and the very special holy days involved special meals. I saw my mother pray the Divine Liturgy when she could not make it to church, and my dad read the Bible.

Happy (Church) New Year!

By Fr. Joseph Huneycutt

Make yours acceptable to the Lord!

It seems odd saying "Happy New Year" in September, but that’s when the Church marks Her annual beginning. September 1st is, for the Church, the first day of a New Year. A pious tradition of the Church holds that Jesus of Nazareth began preaching the good news of His mission on September 1st. When our Lord entered the Synagogue, He was given the book of the Prophet Isaiah to read, and He opened it and found the place where it is written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:18-21).

Tradition also holds that it was during the month of September that the Hebrews entered the promised land. And, the custom of beginning a new year with autumn was common in Biblical and Mediterranean lands because the summer harvest was completed, the crops were stored, and it was a time when people began preparing for a new agricultural cycle. It was an appropriate time for a new beginning. This is evident in the services for the New Year as the Church beseeches God for fair weather, seasonable rains, and an abundance of the fruits of the earth.

"Foundations of the Orthodox Faith" Series Completed

Ancient Faith Radio has released the completed "Foundations" series recorded by Antiochian priest Fr. Andrew Damick for his podcast, "Roads From Emmaus." "This series represents an attempt at a sort of catechism—approaching the faith from four foundational angles: the revelation of God to man, authority in the spiritual life, worship, and morality," explains Fr. Andrew. "As with most of my work, I attempted to keep these talks fairly free of religious jargon, approaching the subjects with only a minimum of assumptions shared with the listeners. My hope is that these will be digestible not only to Orthodox Christians, but to other Christians, members of other religions, those who are 'spiritual but not religious,' and even unbelievers."

Fr. Damick begins the series with a conversation about the person of Christ, then builds on that with subsequent talks about Scripture and Tradition, and Worship. He concludes the four part discussion with a two part presentation, "Christian Life in the World."

NY Times Tells Story of Early Syrian Christian Manhattan Enclave

"The Syrian Colony, Washington Street " by W. Bengough"The Syrian Colony, Washington Street " by W. BengoughMatthew Namee, at OrthodoxHistory.org, has posted an alert to a recent New York Times article about an early Syrian American presence in Manhattan, not far from what became the site for the World Trade Center. While it was eventually displaced by the construction of entrance ramps to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the once thriving community called little Syria, hosted three churches. Notes Namee, "...while the article doesn’t directly discuss Orthodoxy, it talks about the very same community into which St. Raphael came in 1895, and which included the first Antiochian parish on the continent." 

OCF to Honor His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos

His Grace Bishop DemetriosHis Grace Bishop DemetriosFISHERS, IN. - August 18, 2010

The OCF Board of Directors will be honoring His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos for his tremendous contributions in establishing Orthodox Christian Fellowship with a celebratory dinner in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 17, 2010.

Beginning in 1960 as a recent seminary graduate, Bishop Dimitrios (James Couchell) was the driving force in establishing what has become the all-important campus ministry arm of the Orthodox Church. Inspired by his dedication and devotion to college students, OCF has been able to build upon the foundation he laid 50 years ago.

In the year 2000, OCF experienced a renewal, which included the strong and continuing support of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America. Recognizing these two milestones, this fall marks the 50th anniversary of OCF's creation and the 10th anniversary of its current efforts.

In addition to the dinner, OCF will be holding its annual Board of Directors, Chaplain's Network and Student Advisory Board meetings throughout the weekend. These planning meetings will lead into OCF's annual College Student Sunday on September 19.

Discerning the One Thing Needful

By Fr. Andrew Damick

Silence… is something that our culture wants to avoid at all costs. Some of us look for it on vacation. But on our way to that vacation, we make sure that we’re well insulated with noise, whether it’s blaring from the car stereo as we drive or plugged into our ears as we sit on the airplane.

Memory Eternal! + Metropolitan Christopher

Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-ChicagoMetropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-Chicago

Chicago, IL - On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, on the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Old Calendar), His Eminence +Christopher, Metropolitan of Libertyville-Chicago, fell asleep in the Lord. 

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming. Updates may be obtained from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America website here.

May his memory be eternal! Вечнаја памјат!

From the Holy Resurrection Cathedral web site:

Born in Galveston, Texas, and baptized Velimir Kovacevich, the future Metropolitan Christopher was the ninth of twelve children of Serbian immigrant parents. After graduation from high school, he attended Nashotah House and graduated from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois. After marriage, he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Continuing his education, he earned a B.A. (Philosophy), Master of Letters (History) at the University of Pittsburgh; the Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and completed courses and examinations for the doctorate at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Notes from Bishop Thomas Inspire and Inform

Readers of antiochian.org are encouraged to remember that each week, His Grace Bishop Thomas posts a new article to edify and exhort the faithful of the Archdiocese. As Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, His Grace has long provided his flock with appropriate weekly teachings selected from his treasured collection of essays, articles, homilies and more, including many rare pieces from earlier decades of The Word. This week's essay, for example, was first published in 1966, and yet its message of the need for parents to put "First Things First" as they nurture their children, is as timely today as it was when it first appeared in The Word. Read this piece and many others, published and archived here.

What Can We Learn from Mary’s Falling Asleep?

From Fr. James Coles blog, Scholé

All the things we say about her could be said about us. But will they?

St. Vladimir's Seminary Launches New Website

On August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, St. Vladimir's Seminary launched a new website.

The Seminary’s Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, says of the new site, which took nearly six months to develop, “With so much good happening at SVOTS we wanted to offer you a Website that was easy to navigate, informative, and a pleasure to view, and I believe we have met those goals.” The new site has more audio and video content, and will eventually be hosting some space for interactive exchange.

Site browsers can read reflections from Chancellor Hatfield as well as the Dean, Fr. John Behr, in the "Voices" section: other features are Seminarians Speak, Alumni in Action (currently featuring Antiochian Bishop Basil), and Faculty Footnotes. A new history of the seminary can be found in the About Us section, and a new welcome video is accessible via a homepage button. 

Ancient Faith Radio Presents The Chronicles of Narnia Audio Books

Chesterton, IN — Do you love the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, yet never have time to sit down and read them?

Now, by special permission of C.S. Lewis, Pte. Ltd., you can listen to the entire Chronicles of Narnia series in your car, office, or home, read to you in the fine British voice of Dr. Chrissi Hart.

Dr. Hart presents the podcasts as part of her “Under the Grapevine” series of inspirational stories for children of all ages.

Born in Cyprus, Dr. Hart grew up in England from age three, and has a BA in Psychology from the University of Hull, British Psychological Society Diploma in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Leicester, UK. She has helped troubled children for over twenty five years and has a part time child psychology practice. She now lives in York, PA with her husband and two children, where they attend St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church. Dr. Hart is the author of the books Under the Grapevine and The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor (published by Conciliar Press). To learn more, visit her on the web and check out her other “Under the Grapevine” podcasts here.

Media Contact:

Matthew Dorning, Marketing Director

mdorning@conciliarmedia.com

(816) 213-7481

PR#20100806-LS

2010 Diocese of Los Angeles and the West Clergy Seminar Audio CD's Available

His Grace, the Right Reverend ILIAHis Grace, the Right Reverend ILIAThe Diocese of Los Angeles and the West has made a set of audio CD's featuring the sessions from the 2010 Clergy Seminar available here. Web browsers may download the CD's for free of charge using the links provided, or the series is available for purchase here. The series features the special guest speaker, His Grace, the Right Reverend Ilia, the Titular Bishop of Philomelion, of the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. The theme, "'...but make us worthy to approach Thee by mouth and heart…':The Priest, Pastor and Spiritual Father" emphasized the high calling of the priesthood; one CD also features a talk on Albania's Church, titled "From Oppression to Renewal The Orthodox Church in Albania."

For FOCUS Volunteers, Summer is Time to Serve

FOCUS volunteer serves meal in San DiegoFOCUS volunteer serves meal in San DiegoFOCUS North America volunteers, through local affiliates, have been busy this summer! In Orange County, southern California Orthodox Christians bagged food for some of the 20,000 children that are homeless county-wide. In the meantime, thirty volunteers from the Kansas City area drove nearly one thousand miles to North Carolina to work for needy families in the Bakersville region. In San Diego, in the shadows of the wealthy community of Coronado at the Coronado Island Bridge, twenty eight people from six parishes served meals to the homeless in an effort that will be ongoing on Wednesday nights. In a sweltering midwestern heat wave, FOCUS Minnesota served a meal at the end of July as they looked forward to the launch of their new center on Lake Street in Minneapolis; their doors are slated for opening on August 14, the day before the Feast of the Dormition.

Click here to read all the news from FOCUS.

New Site For Metropolitan Anthony Bloom Archives Launches

Metropolitan Anthony BloomMetropolitan Anthony BloomA beautiful new website hosting a great majority of the archived works of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, recently launched at masarchive.org. Compiled as a labor of love over twelve years, by Boris K. Khazanov, the archive consists of over 2,000 text files, 800 photographs, 1,600 audio files, and 200 videos in Russian, English, French, and eight other languages. As the website "About" section explains,  "For several decades a number of parishioners and disciples of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (1914-2003) recorded his talks, interviews and sermons on audio tapes, video recordings and photographs. Some of the audio tapes were transcribed. All of these documents, stored on fragile media, were widely spread among many people across the globe – in the UK, France, Russia, USA, Switzerland, etc. Metropolitan Anthony did not prepare an official will, with regard to his works or wordly possessions, however in 1987 he gave his blessing to his spiritual son and friend Boris Khazanov to collect all his works and in 1998, memorialized that blessing in a written statement."

Browsers can spend hours in the Photographs, Texts, Audio, and Video menus. In "Photographs," for instance, galleries display images from the years 1912 all the way up to the year of his repose, 2003.

OCABS Press Releases Commentary on Colossians and Philemon

New from OCABS Press:The Chrysostom Bible - Colossians & Philemon: A Commentary                                      Paul Nadim Tarazi (Paperback: 130 pages, Publisher: OCABS Press, July 2, 2010)

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation. In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, explains how both Colossians and Philemon are woven together to "'fetter' a free Roman patrician of the 'mighty' city of Colossae to the gospel whose main injunction is the love for the needy neighbor...both Colossians and Philemon," Tarazi writes, "when understood against their original background are lessons for the ages."

The V. Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi is Professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is the author of a three volume Introduction to the Old Testament, a four volume Introduction to the New Testament, Galatians: A Commentary, I Thessalonians: A Commentary, Land and Covenant, and the Chrysostom Bible, Genesis: A Commentary, Philippians: A Commentary and Romans: A Commentary. His Audio Bible Commentaries on the books of the New Testament are available online through the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Visit the OCABS Press website for more information.

Project Mexico Volunteers Complete 10 Homes in June and July

Project Mexico VolunteersProject Mexico VolunteersProject Mexico, the pan-Orthodox organization that has been ministering to the poor of Tijuana since 1988, reports, "After the past three weeks of hard work, both sessions of OBT (Orthodox Basic Training) have ended and 10 new homes are built in Mexico! Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage hosted roughly 150 people for OBT's 1st session June 22-28, and 110 for the 2nd session July 6-12. Volunteers came from a variety of places including New York, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Canada and more! Each Orthodox Basic Training session gave participants a unique experience to build a home in an impoverished area of Mexico, and unite with other Orthodox Christians from across the country while doing so."

Read the rest of the report here.

Musicians Helping Musicians--Sacred Music Institute, July 28-Aug. 1

2009 Sacred Music Institute2009 Sacred Music InstitutePaul Jabara, Chairman of the Sacred Music Institute, writes, 

"Dear Church Musicians,

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Sacred Music Institute. When I think back on the early years, I remember a group of music lovers who “boldly went where no one had gone before”. We didn’t know what to expect, but quickly learned that the Sacred Music Institute was not only a place of learning, but also a place of love. Musicians helping musicians…Christians helping Christians. Friendships were formed and these bonds are thriving to this day. Personally, my earliest memory of the SMI was as a young seventeen-year-old being coached by Maestro James Meena, and directing my first Cherubic Hymn. How the years have passed…Twenty-four years later, I found myself organizing the Sacred Music Institute and here we are at year twenty-five.

The curriculum has expanded over the years. Here are some of the highlights being planned:

• We welcome back our beloved Bishop Basil, the music department’s overseer, and look forward to hearing his words of inspiration and musical brilliance.

• An expanded Byzantine Music Program will be led by Charlie Marge of the Boston Byzantine Chorale, and Dr. Sam Cohlmia, Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America and St. George Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas. Additional faculty are Dr. Stephen Esper of St. George Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, a specialist in the history, theory and practice of Byzantine music and Protopsaltis of the Greek Archdiocese.

• Classes on Theory, Vocal Techniques, Choral Conducting and Music for Mission Parishes will also be offered, just to name a few.

July 28, Russia's Baptism Into Orthodoxy, Declared a National Holiday

Kiev BaptismKiev BaptismReuters Moscow Bureau reports, "Russia officially celebrated a new holiday on Wednesday marking its conversion to Christianity in 988, the latest Kremlin boost to an Orthodox Church that has grown increasingly powerful since the fall of Communism.

Marking the anniversary, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, told state-run television: 'Abandoning the historical significance of the baptism of Rus means discarding the supporting pillar of our entire civilization.'

Kirill held a liturgy in Kiev, the capital of modern Ukraine and mediaeval Kievan Rus, whose leader Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity over a millennia ago and adopted it for his state. Kievan Rus is seen as the precursor to modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Clad in a flowing gold cloak in Kiev's historic Pecherska Lavra monastery, Kirill told thousands of followers: 'Facing aggressive atheism and resurgent paganism we remain firm in our belief in God.'

The Orthodox Church is undergoing a revival in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago and Russia's leaders have endorsed it as the country's main faith.

Medvedev on June 1 signed a law making July 28 a National Day, a state holiday that is also a working day.

Across Russia, churches prepared to hold ceremonies and mass river baptisms in honor of the conversion."

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov in Kiev and Amie Ferris-Rotman in Moscow; Editing by Peter Graff)

AFR Releases Documentary on Hogar Rafael, "Miracle In Zone One"

Chesterton, IN — “The Miracle in Zone One” is the name of a new Ancient Faith Radio audio documentary, in which Bobby Maddex reports on his recent trip to Hogar Raphael Ayau Orthodox Orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

From its founding more than 150 years ago, through its seizure by the government of Guatemala and its return to a descendant of the founder, Orthodox Christian nun Madre Inés Ayau García, in the 1990s, the story of “The Hogar” and its impact on the life of children and adults involves one miracle after another.

The miraculous happens frequently at Hogar Rafael Ayau (HRA). But, like so many miracles in Scripture, humans sometimes play a role. So when Catherine Fuller was looking for a way to record the wonderful singing of the children at Hogar Rafael Ayau and needed equipment, she contacted Ancient Faith Radio. She’d already tried recording the children herself, but the equipment available just wasn’t up to the job. She was hoping AFR would have better equipment.

Memorable Camping Season Continues for Some, Winds Down for Others

Ah, sweet summer! Another eventful, fun-filled camping season is winding down in some dioceses, while the August Session is still to come in several camps.

Due to the generosity of the Order of St. Ignatius, $175,000.00 filled camp scholarship coffers, enabling children of all backgrounds and ages to attend sessions at Antiochian Village, Camp St. Nicholas in California, Camp St. Thekla in South Carolina, St. John Summer Camp in Alaska, St. Mary of Egypt Camp in Washington, Camp Transfiguration in Quebec, Canada, Camp St. George in Iowa, and Camp St. Raphael in Oklahoma.

At Camp St. Nicholas, August campers will enjoy this dance: "Week 3: Out Of This World--Get ready to reach for the stars and LAUNCH into a dance that is out-of-this-world. Dress up as your favorite outer space characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. Or come dressed as an astronaut, star, or planet! The possibilities are endless - just like outer space!" Meantime, in Quebec, Canadian Antiochian children will enjoy "...the Afternoon program, which includes sports, waterfront activities, carpentry, rock climbing, archery, riflery, and more....After dinner, the camp community comes together again for daily Vespers. Each night there is a different program such as a hafli, scavenger hunt, serenade night, campfire, or some activity that the whole camp participates in together."

To view a photo gallery of camper fun and fellowship, click here.

IOCC Launches "Kits for Kids" Campaign

July 16, 2010

Baltimore, MD — Looking for a great back-to-school service project that will provide kids around the world with supplies that they desperately need? International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is challenging its supporters to assemble 10,000 school kits by September 2010 as part of its "Kits for Kids" campaign.

Parish youth leaders and Sunday School teachers can use "Kits for Kids" as a powerful way for children to learn how to serve others while providing supplies for some of the millions of children who lack items as basic as pencils and paper. 

"The kits are so valuable, especially from the simple perspective of the kids getting something new and clean and useful that they could call their own," said an Orthodox priest in Haiti who works at a school that is supported by IOCC and who recently received a shipment of school kits.

IOCC, which has sent tens of thousands of school kits to children in need throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East, through a partnership with Church World Service (CWS), is reporting very low supplies of school kits at the warehouse in Maryland where they are stored.

Become part of the "Kits for Kids" campaign today! Help IOCC get 10,000 school kits to 10,000 children who need them desperately all over the world! Click here for complete instructions.

 

New Journey to Orthodoxy Website Reaches Inquirers

In May of this year, Greek Orthodox priest Fr. John Peck, with the help of Antiochian priest and American Orthodox Institute Director Fr. Hans Jacobse, launched the outreach website Journey to Orthodoxy. Knowing how difficult the inquirer's search for historic Christianity can be, Fr. John and Fr. Hans also premiered the "Welcome Home" network, which connects web readers in real time to other Orthodox who at one time traveled the same journey of discovery and struggle. In its short existence, the website has already run the gamut of stories; a quick glance at the home page reveals stories from former Amish, Catholic, evangelical, and Episcopalian converts who hail from Tanzania, Illinois, Australia, and points in between. Antiochian.org interviewed Fr. John Peck about the website and its impact.

1. What was the inspiration for your new website, Journey to Orthodoxy?

There is a large gap (several actually) in the outreach and evangelism of the Orthodox Church in the United States, and indeed, around the world.

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