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Youth Dialogue with Assembly of Bishops - 08/27/15

Open to all Orthodox High School and College Students!
The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in the United States invites all Orthodox High School and College Students for a Dialogue on September 15, 2015 starting at 6:00 PM!
Join us for a dialogue with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States in Chicago on September 15th at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral.

Download poster here.

REFLECTION — The Church: Hospital or Hotel? - 08/16/15

by Archpriest John Dresko

The 18th All-American Council was outstanding. The spirit was excellent; everyone seemed to be looking forward for the first time in ten years. Two major decisions, the revision of the Statute of the OCA and the Resolution on Proportional Giving, both passed overwhelmingly. The delegates were well spoken, there was none of the pettiness that can sometimes arise, and even those who spoke in opposition to something were polite and well reasoned. The Metropolitan’s Address on Monday evening set a marvelous tone for the week. I highly recommend you listen to the address on Ancient Faith Radio’s website. In short, the whole week was pleasant.

Metropolitan’s Address:

However, if there was one disappointment, it was the lack of any real substantive discussion or even proclamations about the current social issues roiling the waters today. The Metropolitan did include clear comments in his address. And one can argue, of course, that “statements” were issued by various bishops on those issues before the AAC. One can also argue “Orthodox Christians know the clear stand of the Church on these issues.” Neither of those arguments hold water and some clear as a bell clarion call should have come forth from the Council in the name of the Church to help our faithful understand the teachings of the Fathers and the Church on issues in our headlines today. Many did not read any of those statements, and many certainly do not know the teaching of the Church on these issues.

2015 Rocky Mountain Camp - 08/12/15

by Father Moses Hibbard

If you’ve attended summer camp, at any time in your life, you know some of the usual circumstances that accompany it. You head out from wherever you live, slowly progressing to some small town, before venturing off to the relatively unknown, where only a few are fortunate enough to live year round. Beginning the ascent up a beautiful Colorado range, we trekked slowly up a dirt road and came upon a scene that you would expect as the proverbial “summer camp.”Sure enough; there’s the lodge, the small grouping of cabins, games for the children etc.

But, after a short while, one realizes that this is not your ordinary summer camp, not even “religious”summer camp. Of course, we’ll have our fair share of fun and games, but the first event beyond the practicality of eating, is to serve Vespers. A novel idea? Not really. We are Orthodox Christians gathered together to draw closer to Christ. How else would we begin, but with the prayer that we are so accustomed to every other day of our life?

Celebration in Los Angeles of New American Saints - 07/09/15

LOS ANGELES – A recent decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, the Serbian Orthodox Church added Archimandrite Sebastian (Dabovich) of San Francisco and Jackson, and Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic) of Chicago and Libertyville, clergymen and preachers of the Gospel who inspired many missionaries, to calendar of Saints. Once again, through the lives of these two saints, we see a faith that produces holy persons, enriches the world with saints and insists on an ethos of holiness.

Orthodox Christian leaders and faithful from the United States and abroad will celebrate this event on Saturday, September 5 at Saint Steven’s Cathedral, 1621 West Garvey Avenue in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, California. The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Irinej, will lead the festivities. The Church has recognized the holiness of these two missionaries, and as this event will celebrate their lives, it will also be an opportunity to learn from their example of holiness in America.

REFLECTION: Some Thoughts on Marriage - 07/04/15

by Archpriest Andrew Morbey
Printed with permission

Marriage in some form or another has existed in most places. It has taken many forms. Even the Hebrew scriptures themselves, for example, make mention of polygamy, concubinage, levirate marriage, fruitful and unfruitful marriages, adulterous ones, arranged ones, romantic ones, those according to the law of Moses and those not according the law....  Just imagine the varieties of marriage to be found globally in the innumerable cultures and sub-cultures that have made up human society from its beginnings!

Many people, among them church fathers, have thought it tremendously significant that given this great variety, just about all known societies nonetheless identify and privilege committed heterosexual unions, surrounding them with taboos and proscriptions, limits and rules and regulations, rites and ceremonies. It seems likely that societies shape and enforce their cultural expectations of heterosexual marriage in light of the obvious importance of reproduction, nurture, and the transmission of family property and identity. Whether or not God designed us this way, which is the traditional understanding embraced by the Church, simply on a descriptive level, I think we can say this: most societies in most places have valued, privileged and enforced some sort of heterosexual relationship capable of supporting reproduction, nurture, the transmission of family or tribal or cultural identity and, of course, property. The marriage could be polygamous, it might permit sexual expression outside of marriage (especially for men, and even in some cultures permitting same sex activity), it might burden and demean women, but I don't know of any culture that didn't and doesn't place this sort of heterosexual relationship at the very center of society, of law, of public sentiment and personal identity. Tampering with this very human, natural moral ecology is, I think, a very risky business.


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