Thoughts for the Week
Wisdom From the Holy Fathers
†St. Thalassios the Libyan
†St. Mark the Ascetic
†St. Dorotheos of Gaza
†St. Maximos the Confessor
†St. John of Kronstadt
Paraklesis this Wednesday Evening - October 25th - 10/22/17
This Wednesday evening, we will once again offer Small Paraklesis at 6: 30 p.m. Please consider making a commitment to be a reader or be willing to offer the responses. Come be a part of the mid-week service of supplication.
Study Group - October 26th - 10/22/17
This week six of us continued to discuss the diocesan presentation on the “Effective Church Model”. Starting November 1st our study group will begin reading “Courage to Pray,” by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Please check with the bookstore for available copies. The study group meets Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. All are welcome to join us!
Church School/Harvest Party - October 29th - 10/22/17
Church school will once again resume today during the coffee hour. Classes are available for 3-5 yrs. old, 6-10yrs. old, and 11-17yrs old. Just a reminder that there will be a Harvest party on October 29th.
Note: we will also have church school on October 29th & November 12th (Bylaws meeting postponed).
Upcoming Choir Rehearsals - November 4th through December 16th - 10/22/17
We will have choir rehearsals on the following Saturdays:
The rehearsals begin at 3:30 PM. We meet in the choir loft at church. The rehearsals go on until the beginning of Vespers.
"Wedding Welcome" for John (Joseph) Elliott and Colleen McDonald- November 5th - 10/22/17
To show our love & support for their upcoming marriage, we’ve planned an informal “wedding welcome” in conjunction with the coffee-hour pot luck luncheon on Sunday, November 5th. For those who have expressed interest in a gift, ‘Orthodox’ gift items would work well or perhaps gift cards for Macy’s or Amazon. See Nona Carey if you have any questions.
Feast of Saint Michael - November 8th - 10/22/17
Reminder that our Patronal Feast of the Archangel Michael is coming up. Vespers with lytia will be held on November 7th at 7:00 p.m.
Divine Liturgy on November 8th at 9:00 a.m. Joyous feast day!
Wedding - November 11th - 10/22/17
John (Joseph) Elliott & Colleen McDonald are getting married on Nov 11th at 2 p.m. They would like to warmly invite all the faithful of St. Michael’s to attend. They ask for your prayers and singing the responses in the Rite of Holy Matrimony.
Annual Parish Meeting Thank You! - 10/22/17
We were blessed at this year’s annual meeting to have such great attendance. Thank you to all who came and participated. A special thank you to our parents for their endurance with our little ones. They too share in the business of our parish! The blessings of our Lord are at work in many areas of our parish life. Please consider the brief presentation on our vision and the need for help in our parish ministries. St. Michael’s parish needs your talents!
News from the Orthodox Church in America
Monday, 23 Oct 2017
In Memoriam: Archpriest Stephen Mack, Matushka Marie Kreta
5 hours ago
On Sunday morning, October 22, 2017, Archpriest Stephen Mack, long-time Rector of Saint Nicholas Church, Auburn, NY, fell asleep in the Lord unexpectedly. Additional information and the schedule of services will be posted as they are received.
On Monday, October 23, 2017, Matushka Marie Kreta, wife of the late Protopresbyter Joseph P. Kreta, also fell asleep in the Lord. Father Joseph reposed in retirement at the age of 84 on February 2, 2012 after many years of ministry in Alaska and at Saint Herman’s Seminary. Matushka Marie also was the mother of Archpriest John [Matushka Evelyn] Kreta and his twin brother Stephen [Angela] Kreta; the late Priest Peter [Matushka Marilyn] Kreta; and daughter Maria. Additional information and the schedule of services will be posted as they are received.
May the memories of Father Stephen and Matushka Marie be eternal, and may their families be comforted by the hope of the Resurrection and our prayers!
Saturday, 21 Oct 2017
Metropolitan Tikhon welcomes OCMC representatives to OCA Chancery
21 Oct 2017 at 9:46am
Metropolitan Tikhon with Protonica Michelle Jannakos and Fr. Martin Ritsi.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon hosted representatives of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center [OCMC] at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America here on Friday, October 20, 2017.
Meeting with Metropolitan Tikhon were Father Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director, and Protonica Michelle Jannakos, Development Officer.
Father Martin briefed Metropolitan Tikhon on the current work of OCMC and shared some its new initiatives, especially in the Center’s initiation of missions to Post-Christian societies, as planned for Scandinavia. Of particular interest was the work OCMC does in the OCA Diocese of Mexico, where OCMC has been working with His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo for the past four years to provide catechism, youth ministry programs and spiritual education to native populations in the Diocese. Metropolitan Tikhon discussed with Father Martin a number of ideas for expanding outreach efforts to the Diocese of Mexico. Also discussed was a projected visit of Metropolitan Tikhon to OCMC’s headquarters in Saint Augustine, FL, in order to experience first hand the important training work that happens before mission teams are sent into the field.
As the official missions agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, it is OCMC’s mission to make disciples of all nations by bringing people to Christ and His Church. OCMC currently has 18 long-term missionaries working in eight countries.
Those interested in getting involved in OCMC’s work and ministries will find a wealth of information on-line.
Friday, 20 Oct 2017
IN THE NEWS: At home and abroad
20 Oct 2017 at 11:43am
Lazarevac, Serbia: OCA Military Chaplain concelebrates with Serbian Military Bishop Fr. James receives blessing from Bishop Jovan.
During a recent visit to Serbia, Father James Sizemore, CH (LTC), a US Army Reserve chaplain based in Ohio, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Grace, Bishop Jovan, the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Military Hierarch, and Serbian military chaplains at the Church of the Great Martyr Dimitri in Lazarevac, Serbia in conjunction with the State Partnership Program the Ohio National Guard [ONG] maintains with Serbia.
“The Chaplain Corps has offered guidance to the Serbian Armed Forces [SAF] since 2010 on the development of a chaplain corps within the SAF,” explained Father James. “There were no chaplains in the SAF during the communist era. In 2013, the SAF military academy graduated its first class of chaplains. The ONG was present for this occasion. Since then, the ONG has traveled to Serbia twice to offer assistance and the SAF chaplains have traveled to Ohio once.”
Father James went on to explain that “during these times, training is offered to the SAF chaplains on functions of the chaplains and chaplain assistants within the military.
“During the Liturgy, members of the American military and Serbian soldiers who served during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia worshiped together,” Father James added. “This is another sign of the strengthening partnership between the two nations.”Overland Park, KS: Holy Trinity Parish celebrates 100th anniversary
On the weekend of October 7-8, 2017, His Grace, Bishop Paul presided at the 100th anniversary celebration of Holy Trinity Church, Overland Park, KS.
Bishop Paul was welcomed by Archpriest Timothy Sawchak, Rector, on Saturday, October 7. A meeting with parish teens and a Memorial Service for the founders, benefactors and clergy of the parish followed. In the evening, Great Vespers was celebrated; a reception followed.
Serving with Bishop Paul and Father Timothy at the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy were Archpriest John Zdinak, Chancellor of the Diocese of the Midwest; Priests Christopher Rowe, Michael Medis, and Joshua Lollar; and Deacon Brent Beasley. During the Liturgy, Fathers Christopher and Michael were elevated to the dignity of Archpriest, while Father Timothy was awarded the jeweled cross. A Synodal Gramota was presented to the parish at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
A gala celebration was held on Sunday evening, which featured a special video presentation on the theme of 100 years of Faith and Witness.Lawrence, KS: Parish celebrates annual blessing of vineyard St. Nicholas faithful help with grape harvest.
For several years, Priest Joshua Lollar and the faithful of Saint Nicholas Church, Lawrence, KS, have gathered at Blue Jacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery to help with the grape harvest.
“Blue Jacket is a vineyard just outside Lawrence where the parish gets wine for Liturgy,” explains Father Joshua. “Our participation in the harvest each year presents us with a different experience and a different grape, depending upon the weather, and this year we helped harvest the chambourcin vines, a variety that is used in the wine we use at Liturgy.”
This, Father Joshua added, was a record-setting year for production at the vineyard.Fr. Joshua blesses vineyard.
“We. along with dozens of other local volunteers, harvested 17,000 pounds of grapes during the morning work session,” Father Joshua said. “After the harvest and lunch with the other volunteers and vineyard staff, we blessed the vines as we do every year: ‘O God our Savior, who wast well-pleased that thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ should be called a Vine, and who didst show the fruit of this Vine bringing forth immortality by the grace of thy Spirit: do Thou Thyself now bless this fruit of the vine, O Master, and grant sanctification and prosperity of soul to all of us who shall partake of it.’”Princeton, NJ: Archbishop Michael addresses Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black annual conference St. Moses Conference participants after Divine Liturgy.
His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey was one of two hierarchs addressing participants in the 24th annual Ancient Christianity Conference sponsored by the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black. October 6-8, 2017.
Also addressing the 100-plus participants was His Grace, Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic.
“Growing Closer to Christ, Growing Closer Together” was the theme of the conference, which was held at the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow Church, Princeton, NJ. Over a dozen other presenters—among them Archpriests Moses Berry and John Kowalczyk, Priest Jerome Sanderson, Hieromonk Alexii [Altschul], Prof. Al Raboteau, and Mother Katherine—further developed the conference theme.
A highlight of the conference was the annual Young Preachers’ Panel, moderated by Hieromonk Alexii.
The Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black is a Pan-Orthodox organization which has desired through its efforts to make the Orthodox faith available to the African American community and help the Church itself in realizing this goal.
Thursday, 19 Oct 2017
Update on OCA communities in California
19 Oct 2017 at 11:24am
As reported last week, communities of the Orthodox Church in America in California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties remained in a precarious position as fire fighters continued to battle flames that claimed some 37,000 acres, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes and businesses.
Prayers had been requested specifically for Santa Rosa’s Saint Seraphim Cathedral community, as well as Our Lady of Kazan Skete, also in Santa Rosa, and Holy Assumption Monastery, Calistoga, CA. As a precaution, the nuns from both monastic communities had been evacuated several days ago.
As of Wednesday evening, October 18, 2017, Cal Fire had reported that, while new fires had broken out in the northern part of the state, the fire between Calistoga and Santa Rosa had been 91% contained.
“The cathedral in Santa Rosa, the Kazan Skete and the Assumption Monastery in Calistoga all have been spared,” reports His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West. “The nuns have returned to their corresponding monasteries. I was particularly concerned about Calistoga’s Holy Assumption Monastery, as it is the oldest women’s monastery in the Western Hemisphere and its buildings—including its chapel, a replica of the chapel at Fort Ross, CA—are made of wood. But all is well.
“A couple of families suffered the loss of their homes and, of course, there are thousands of their neighbors who suffered the same fate,” Archbishop Benjamin adds. “I expect it will take a long time for the city to recover and for the parish to be a point of contact where people seek help.”
Ongoing prayers are requested for those personally affected by the wild fires.
Wednesday, 18 Oct 2017
SVOTS Missions Weekend to highlight South Korea, Albania
18 Oct 2017 at 11:36am
Saint Vladimir’s Seminary will host its annual Missions Weekend October 20-21, 2017, during which two fascinating speakers will share their missionary experiences in South Korea and Albania. The event is being sponsored by a campus student interest group, the Saint Innocent Society.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Ambrosios [Zographos] of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea will deliver his free and public presentation in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20. An open reception will follow.
“I look forward to seeing your seminary President, Father Chad Hatfield, face-to-face, and to the conversations with your students,” replied Metropolitan Ambrosios in response to the invitation he received from the Saint Innocent Society.
Metropolitan Ambrosios was born on March 15, 1960 on the island of Aegina in Greece. He was educated at theological institutions in Greece, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Princeton Theological Seminary. He pursued postgraduate work at Princeton University, earning a Master’s Degree in Church History and Art History. On December 21, 1998, he was awarded a Doctorate Degree with distinction by the School of Theology of the University of Athens. Two days later, he departed to Korea to begin serving the Church there as Dean of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seoul and as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Korea. On December 21, 2006, he was elevated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Zela by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. [See related article by Metropolitan Ambrosios titled Orthodox Witness in the Korean Peninsula: A Historical Approach.]
In addition to many articles in various magazines, Metropolitan Ambrosios is also the author of numerous major studies and books, including The Social Teachings of Saint Gregory Palamas, Based on His Sixty-Three Homilies; The Contribution of Saint Basil the Great on the Formation of the Monastic Ideal; and Iconography in the Liturgical life of the Medieval Greek Church.
Nathan Hoppe, long-time missionary to Albania, will be speaking in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21.
Nathan and his wife Gabriela are working to inspire, train, equip, and lead Albanians to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples. Their ministry is focused on seminary and university students and children. Nathan teaches the early Church Fathers at the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and leads the ministry to students at the University of Tirana. He also directs the Central Children’s Office of the Orthodox Church of Albania, a ministry in which he works closely with Gabriela.
Nathan also represents the Orthodox Church of Albania at a number of international gatherings and serves on the steering committee of the Lausanne-Orthodox. He is a member of the Advisory Council for World Vision Albania and is on the board of the Inter-Confessional Bible Society. Together Nathan and Gabriela lead a team of 25 Albanian Orthodox youth to Kosovo each year where they hold friendship camps for about 1,500 Muslim Albanian children as part of the social and philanthropic work of the Orthodox Church of Albania.
Born and raised in Colombia, South America, Nathan is a graduate of Wheaton College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has served in Albania for more than 16 years. Gabriela, a native of Albania, is a graduate of the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and the University of Tirana. She holds a Master’s Degree in Children’s and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary. The Hoppes have three children. Podcasts with Nathan may be accessed on Ancient Faith’s “Speaking the Truth in Love.”
Both presentations are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, 17 Oct 2017
Urgent announcement concerning unauthorized fundraising appeal
17 Oct 2017 at 11:11am
Today—Tuesday, October 17, 2017—an e-mail went out under the Orthodox Church in America’s logo and the OCA address—firstname.lastname@example.org—asking for financial assistance for a member of the OCA. This e-mail was not sent out by the OCA, nor did the OCA authorize the use of its logo or address.
If you have received this e-mail, please do not click on any links in the e-mail.
While the Orthodox Church in America does use digital media to raise funds for the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America and the Charity Committee, digital appeals from the OCA do not use third-party fundraising organizations like “Fundly,” “Gofundme,” or others.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we are working to identify the source of this e-mail and to put necessary protocols into place to prevent such activity from happening again.
Monday, 16 Oct 2017
St. Tikhon’s Community celebrates Founder’s Day
16 Oct 2017 at 11:22am
On Sunday, October 8, 2017, members of the communities of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Saint Tikhon’s Seminary gathered for their Founder’s Day celebration, held each year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Glorification of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, who founded the monastery.
The day opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by the monastery’s Abbot, Archimandrite Sergius, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, STOTS Dean, and clergy from the seminary and monastery.
In his homily, Archimandrite Sergius appealed to all gathered to continue pursuing the vision of Saint Tikhon with continual prayerful support of the mission of Orthodoxy in North America, aided by the daily prayers of the monastery community. This year, he noted, is special in that it marks the 100th anniversary of Saint Tikhon’s elevation to the Patriarchate.
Following the Liturgy, a festive luncheon was held, at which Father Steven thanked all of the members of the Fellowship of Saint Tikhon and Saint Nikolai for their support of the seminary. He then thanked the members of the Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association, inviting Subdeacon John Lasichak, Association President, to address those gathered for the luncheon.
In the afternoon, the Association’s members held their annual meeting. Subdeacon John called upon the Association’s leadership to report on their successful fundraising activities through the course of the year. Archpriest Dennis Swencki, STOTS Chief Financial Officer, shared heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the seminary for all the Association’s efforts in supporting the seminary, including its annual event, Hospitality a la Russe. On behalf of the Century Association, Subdeacon John presented a check for $7,000.00 to Father Steven Voytovich.
Century Association members support the seminary with annual gifts of at least $100.00.
Saturday, 14 Oct 2017
Department Highlights: October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
14 Oct 2017 at 3:42pm
In 1988, US President Ronald Reagan designated October as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.” On September 28, 2006, the US House of Representatives designated October 15 as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.”
In this updated article by Matushka Dennise Kraus, a wealth of information and ideas for observing Awareness Month and Day are offered. [The updated article also appears in the Parish Ministries Resources on the OCA web site.]October: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by Matushka Dennise Kraus
“Thy departure from this earthly life is a cause of grief and sorrow for your parents and all who love you, O little child; but in truth you have been saved by the Lord from sufferings and snares of many kinds. O Savior and Master of our life: comfort the faithful parents of this departed child with the knowledge that to innocent children, who have done no deeds worthy of tears, are granted the righteousness, peace and joy of Thy kingdom” [Canon Ode 9, The Service of Burial of an Infant].
Each year, approximately one million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn child. But this is not just a statistic. This is a life and a death issue.
It is my belief that both the Gospel and the Orthodox Church hold that life begins at conception — that is, the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm. God knows the name and age of each person from his or her mother’s womb, as we pray during the Liturgy of Saint Basil. We must therefore recognize that pregnancy loss — miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth — all result in the death of a human being, a baby, a “Child of God.” Parents who were anticipating life are now confronted with death. These deaths result in millions of parents and families grieving.Grieving Alone
Archpriest John Breck, writing about the mother who has miscarried, states that “her pain needs to be acknowledged, accepted, and palliated through words and gestures of understanding, sympathy and love, offered by her family and the parish community.” In reality, most parents who experience the loss of a child during pregnancy, suffer alone. This is especially true in the instance of early pregnancy loss (i.e. miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies) where there is no “body” to be seen and often the mother shows no outward signs of pregnancy. Many people are unaware of the grief that pregnancy loss causes. Sometimes the grieving parents, themselves, reinforce the idea that they are not grieving, by pretending they do not experience hurt, as they try to “get on with their lives” and to “try again.”
It is important to note that not only is a parent’s grief over a pregnancy loss real and normal, it is also Christian. Too many times it is assumed that grief is not Christian—that the bereaved should accept the reality of the loss as being “God’s Will.” However, we know that when Jesus learned of the death of his friend Lazarus, “Jesus wept” [John 11:35]. Especially in early losses (most miscarriages occur before the twelfth week of pregnancy) people often use the clichés, “It’s God’s will,” “God wanted the baby in heaven for Himself,” “God knows best; the baby would have probably been deformed.” The only thing these sayings do is indicate to the parents that they should not mourn, that if they “are Christian” they will accept God’s Will and not “complain.”National Observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
When in 1988 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month throughout the United States, he noted that the day “offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members to work to prevent causes of these problems.” Subsequently, the resolution to declare October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day passed the United States House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, it is suggested by many bereavement groups that grieving parents light a candle at 7:00 p.m. in their respective time zones to create a wave of light around the world in memory of babies lost to pregnancy and infant loss.
At Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, NY, we have been holding a Service of Prayer [Molieben] each year on October 15 beginning at 7:00 pm. A copy of the service can be found on the parish’s prayer ministry web site. Following the service, it is good to have fellowship and refreshments of some sort. It would also be a good idea to have pamphlets on grieving available. Pamphlets and resources can be found on the internet, but especially from the National Share Office.Guidelines for Helping a Friend or Family Member to Grieve
Not everyone grieves in the same way. It is important to create a loving and understanding atmosphere to help those affected. Always work in cooperation with your pastor. In 2002, I wrote an article for our Diocesan Journal, Jacob’s Well, titled “Comforting Those Who Have Lost a Baby During Pregnancy or Shortly Thereafter.” I am including the guidelines from that article for people who may not know what to say or how to help a friend or family member who is grieving.
Your help, comfort, and sensitive support can be very influential in how the parents cope with the death of their baby and how they recover. You are important; they need you now more than ever.
After giving birth to two beautiful children, my husband and I experienced the deaths of two babies during pregnancy. Our second baby died while we were attending Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. The prayers and support that we received from the community aided in our healing. The Molieben that my husband serves on October 15 holds special meaning for us. We hope that such prayers will help others to heal as well.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” [2 Corinthians 1:3-4].Definitions
Grief—The thought and feeling experienced within oneself upon the death of someone loved. It is the internal meaning given to the experience of bereavement.
Mourning—The taking of the internal experience of grief and expressing it outside oneself.
Miscarriage—Death of an infant during the first 20 weeks of gestation. Usually a miscarriage occurs in the first 12 weeks. In most states the hospital is responsible for the remains of the baby. However, some states are introducing legislation that would allow parents to request the body for burial.
Ectopic Pregnancy—When the baby (fertilized egg) implants itself outside of the uterus. Medication or surgery is necessary to remove the conceptus (baby), prevent rupture of the fallopian tube, and to safeguard the mother’s life. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening event for the mother.
Stillbirth—The death of an infant in the last 20 weeks of gestation, but prior to birth. In most states it is the responsibility of the parents to bury the baby.
Neonatal Death—The death of an infant during the first 28 days after birth.
Perinatal Loss—The death of an infant during pregnancy, childbirth, or during the first 28 days after birth.Helpful Websites
The Great Book of Needs, Expanded and Supplemented, Volume III. “The Order for the Burial of an Infant”. St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press. South Canaan, PA. 1999.
Borg, Susan and Lasker, Judith. When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death. 1981. Revised 1989.
Breck, John. The Sacred Gift of Life. Orthodox Christianity and Bioethics. St. Vladimir’s Press. Crestwood, NY. 1998.
Elliott, Martha. An Orthodox Christian Response to the Death of a Child. SVS MA Thesis May, 1998 p9.
Klunger-Bell, Kim. Unspeakable Losses. Understanding the Experience of Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage and Abortion. New York, London: WW Norton and Company, 1998.
Kohn, Ingrid and Perry-Lynn Moffitt. A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss: Guidance and Support for You and Your Family. New York: Routledge, 2000.
James, John and Frank Cherry, The Grief Recovery Handbook.
Limbo, Rana K. and Sara Rich Wheeler. When A Baby Dies: A Handbook for Healing and Helping. Bereavement Services. LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Revised Printing 1998.
Lothrop, Hannah. Help, Comfort and Hope After Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or in the First Year. Fisher Books, 1992.
Moe, Thomas. Pastoral Care in Pregnancy Loss: A Ministry Long Needed. The Haworth Pastoral Press. New York. 1997.
Olson, Heidi B. When the Bough Breaks—Working with Families Who have Experienced The Death of an Infant (A Guide For Healthcare and Other Professionals).
Panuthos, Claudia and Catherine Romeo. Ended Beginnings. Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc., 1984.
Shimchick, John. Sharing The Loss Of The Wished For Child. Parish Ministry Resources. Orthodox Church in America. New York. p. 5
Vogel, Gary E. A Caregiver’s Handbook to Perinatal Loss. deRuyter-Nelson Publications, Inc. St. Paul, Minnesota. 1996
Walker, Gordon T. Dealing with Grief. Second Edition. Conciliar Press, 1988.
Worden, William. Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy. A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner. Second Edition. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 1991.
Matushka Dennise Kraus is the wife of Priest Martin Kraus, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, NY and the mother of five children.
Friday, 13 Oct 2017
Preconciliar Commission announces assessments for 19th All-American Council
13 Oct 2017 at 12:00pm
The Preconciliar Commission, charged with the organization of the 19th All-American Council [AAC] in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018, recently released information concerning AAC assessments.
Dioceses will have the option of absorbing the assessment or passing it along by invoicing their parishes.
“To this end, the dioceses are being provided with information on the assessments paid by their parishes for the 18th AAC,” added Ms. Ringa. “Invoices, letters and other information on the assessments are being mailed to the diocesan bishops and treasurers. Clergy should check with their diocesan treasurer with any questions as to how their diocese is handling the assessment for the 19th AAC.”
The Preconciliar Commission also announced that retired clergy and clergy widows will not be charged any fees. Military Chaplains, Stavropegial Institutions and Monasteries will be charged the $250.00 delegate fee, which includes admission to the AAC formal dinner, for each delegate in lieu of an assessment. Weekly Observers will also be charged $250.00, which likewise will include the formal dinner. There will be a daily observer fee of $75.00, with an additional $75.00 charge to attend the formal dinner.
Ms. Ringa added that “these fees have remained unchanged from the 18th AAC.”
Electronic registration for the 19th AAC and hotel registration will open during the first week of January 2018.
Follow the latest news concerning the 19th AAC on-line.
Thursday, 12 Oct 2017
Assembly of Bishops releases message at conclusion of eighth annual meeting
12 Oct 2017 at 6:00am
The eighth annual meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America drew to a close on Thursday, October 5, 2017.
On Tuesday, October 10, the Assembly released the text of the gathering’s concluding Message to the Faithful, the text of which appears below. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon was among the message’s 32 signatories, together with other US members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops: His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek; His Eminence, Archbishop Mark; His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, who also serves as the Assembly’s Treasurer; His Grace, Bishop David; and His Grace, Bishop Paul.
The text of the opening address of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Assembly Chair, also has been released.Message of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Garfield, New Jersey
To our beloved Orthodox Christian faithful and all people of good will throughout the United States of America:
“Let the children come to me, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 14.14).
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
We, the Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, who have gathered in Garfield, New Jersey on October 3-5, 2017 for our eighth annual meeting, greet you with love in Christ as we offer glory and thanks to Him.
Having been welcomed by our host, His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, thirty-two hierarchs, gathered in the unity of our Orthodox faith, began our Assembly with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, New Jersey, calling to mind in our prayers our suffering neighbors throughout the world. Once again, our thoughts and prayers were with the kidnapped hierarchs in Syria: Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and Syriac Archbishop John Ibrahim. We prayed also for the repose of our brothers, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, Metropolitan Philotheos of Meloa, and Bishop Antoun, formerly of Miami, who fell asleep in the Lord after long and blessed hierarchal ministries, which were notable for their strong support for the work of our Assembly.
Having thus begun with prayer, we proceeded upon three days of convocations and meetings in which we set about our various works. In the opening session, new officers were welcomed to the Executive Committee: His Grace, Bishop Gregory as Secretary and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael as Treasurer. His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, our Chairman, noted in his opening address three main reasons for our meeting. “Our work together,” the Archbishop noted, “is a methodical and intense spiritual exercise in building love and fortifying the bond of our unity in Christ.” He also pointed out that our task as Orthodox Hierarchs is to “organize and function according to the canonical norms and tradition that our Church Fathers wisely established throughout the centuries.” Lastly, Archbishop Demetrios urged the Hierarchs to work together on forging an authentic and common witness of Orthodoxy to the younger generation.
Among the many themes addressed during our Assembly, one of the central [themes] this year was that of youth ministry: the place of children and young adults in the Church. We affirmed the need to enhance our ministry to those for whom the Church is their hope, their glory, and their salvation. We listened to presentations by Dr. Richard Flory, Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, and by Dr. Ann Bezzerides, Director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. They highlighted the importance of ministry directed to all ages and stages of youth and identified various challenges and opportunities to the care of youth and emerging leaders. We remain mindful of the beauty and sanctity of childhood, which our Lord Himself experienced, sanctifying its vulnerability and integrity, its dependency and its development into Godliness. Jesus Christ welcomed and blessed the young children, and we are thus reminded that “for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 14.14). We remain steadfast in our commitment to guard “their lives according to God’s word” (Psalm 110.9), so that they may “set an example for all believers in speech and conduct, in love, faith and purity” (1 Timothy 4.12).
Saint John Chrysostom’s love and compassion for children moves us to urge the clergy, the faithful, and all people of good will, to “let everything take second place to our care of our children….” (Homily 21, Homilies on Ephesians). In this spirit, and in common cause for the benefit of all our children, we voice our fervent prayers and unyielding support for the children and youth of our Church and assure all our faithful of the tireless commitment of the Hierarchy to the welfare of its youngest and most vulnerable flock. We encourage all our youth, in unity of mind and heart, to grow in wisdom and the understanding of the treasures of the Church, which are the firm foundation of their future and the ground that may support their labors in and for the world.
In a connected way, we denounce all social, political and cultural travesties which threaten the physical safety and moral security of God’s children. The plight of hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children, as well as the millions of women, men, and children exploited in modern slavery across the globe touches our hearts. We beseech the faithful to see in them Christ Himself, Who also fled to foreign lands in infancy, and to assist them whenever possible. Similarly, we unequivocally denounce the continuation of violence and bloodshed throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, where ongoing brutality—too often in the name of religion—threatens children and adults alike. We pray for the protection of Christians and all other vulnerable communities throughout the world; for the cessation of terrorism and persecution wherever they occur; and for lasting peace and justice to reign throughout God’s world. We also express our profound concern over the recent attack in Las Vegas, which left nearly sixty dead and hundreds injured. Yet again, we witness one more egregious act of hatred and terror. Unfortunately, such sights have become all too familiar in our society; they are the antithesis of love and the worst example for our children of what mankind can be. We are called to rise up in witness of a love that conquers fear and hatred, and to bear witness before society and all civil authorities of the need to eliminate violence.
Furthermore, we reflected on recent disasters affecting our communities, namely the devastating hurricanes and earthquakes. We pray fervently for those who lost their lives and their livelihoods and for all those impacted. We urge the faithful to continue to support humanitarian relief efforts through International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an agency of the Assembly.
Our work also included a presentation by the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning, which reviewed the findings of its study “Places of ‘Greater Orthodox Unity’ in America: Local Inter-Parish Cooperation.” The hierarchs commended Metropolitan Nicolae, Chairman of the committee, for his efforts, endorsed the work of the committee, and authorized the committee to continue its work. We also heard reports by Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) and IOCC, which led to fruitful and open discussion. We especially offered thanksgiving to God for the humanitarian service offered by IOCC, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. We also considered ideas that might help further express our common faith through common works of charity.
Recognizing the blessing that it is to gather in peace in order prayerfully to reflect upon the life of the Church, we express our deep gratitude to all those who planned and prepared for this year’s Assembly. It is our common conviction that, in coming together in fraternity to address common issues of pastoral concern, welfare and mission, we are strengthened in our witness and work in this God-preserved land.
We offer our paternal prayers for all the children of the Church, our beloved flocks. May the abundant blessings of the All-Merciful Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—be with you all!
Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman
A photo gallery may be viewed on the Assembly of Bishops’ web site.
Wednesday, October 25th at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 29th after Church School
Vespers with Litya
- Tuesday, November 7th at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, November 8th at 9:00 a.m.
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