Ss Peter and Paul Orthodox Church1411 SW 11 StreetMiami, FL 33135305-858-2924
What is Orthodox Christianity? An Answer in Three Partsaims to employ the aesthetics and resources of the Orthodox Church in order to reinforce the content of the message. Rather than conventional movie-making techniques like interviewed subjects, the use of actors, or narrator, this documentary uses still images, readable text, and other aesthetic elements to explain He Who came as both Word (Logos) and Image (Icon).
What is Orthodox Christianity?
Welcome to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Miami, FL!
The 112th Annual Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery here will open officially on Friday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. with the greeting of the Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Icon of the Mother of God at the entrance arch and the celebration of a Molieben, followed by Vespers and Matins, in the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk. The icon will be available for veneration throughout the Pilgrimage, which formally ends on Memorial Day—Monday, May 30.
The 74th annual Commencement of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary will be held on Saturday, May 28. The day will open with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Monastery Church at 9:00 a.m., followed by a meal in the dining hall. Commencement Exercises will begin at 1:00 p.m. His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will deliver the commencement address, after which he will be awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree, Honoris Causa, in recognition of his yeoman service to Orthodox Christian theological education, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and world Orthodoxy in general. [See related story.] The Resurrection Vigil will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, followed by dinner in the dining hall.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 29, followed by a meal in the dining hall. Vespers and Matins will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m.
On Memorial Day, May 30, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Monastery Church at 7:30 a.m. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will preside at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Panikhida for Veterans at All Saints Bell Tower at 12:15 p.m. The Akathistos Hymn to Saint Alexis will be celebrated in the Monastery Church at 1:30 p.m., while the Molieben to the Most Holy Theotokos with the Anointing of the Sick, Infirm and All Pilgrims will be celebrated at the Monastery Bell Tower at 2:30 p.m. The Pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers and Matins at 4:00 p.m.
A highlight of this year’s Pilgrimage will be the historical exhibition, “Russian America: The Alaskan Native Spiritual Legacy,” which pilgrims are invited to view at the Monastery Museum. Organized in conjunction with the 45th Anniversary of the Glorification of Saint Herman of Alaska and offering a glimpse into Orthodox Christianity’s spiritual legacy in Alaska, the exhibition opened on January 22, 2016 at Villanova University, where it ran through May 16. [See related story.]
Concurrent with the Pilgrimage, the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute [PaTRAM] will hold its First Annual Memorial Day Young Singers’ Conference at the Monastery. Under the direction of Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, the 30-voice mixed choir includes vocalists and choral musicians from the US, Canada and Russia. Conference participants will sing the liturgical responses during the Pilgrimage. In addition, the Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Chamber Choir will be presenting a benefit concert featuring works by American composers at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 29. The concert will be held at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Details and additional information are available.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, has announced that the Board of Trustees of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here voted to implement a new model for governance at the seminary. The new model, adopted by the Board at its semi-annual meeting on May 19–20, 2016, will be effective as of May 27, 2016, and will include a newly defined Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position at the top of its organizational structure. Components of the new model will be implemented over the next several months.
“As the President of the Board of Trustees at Saint Vladimir’s, I am pleased to recognize the excellent work undertaken by the members of the Board over the past year, as they worked with the Administration of the Seminary to tackle the challenging issues that are changing the environment in which the crucial work of theological education takes place,” remarked Metropolitan Tikhon. “I am particularly impressed by the collaborative manner in which all constituencies of the school participated in this process, culminating in our recent productive Board meeting, which has set a more timely standard for navigating the changing world of theological education.”
The new governance model reshapes the seminary’s organizational structure from a bicameral system, headed by a Dean and Chancellor/CEO, to a team model of four executive officers responsible for Academic Affairs, Operations, Advancement, and Finances — all of whom report to a single Chief Executive Officer. Trustees made the decision to restructure the seminary administration in this manner, partly in response to a new business plan also adopted by the Board at their semi-annual meeting, and partly in response to feedback from an Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership Structure formed to study and analyze the seminary’s former organizational model. That committee was cochaired by seminary Trustees Dr. Frank B. Cerra and Dr. Melody M. Thompson.
The seminary is taking steps to formalize this change in its statutes and in due course, most likely in late summer or early fall, will be posting a job description for the CEO position, welcoming applications for that position. As well, it will post job descriptions for other team member positions and welcome applications, as is appropriate to the seminary’s needs.
The new business plan mainly focuses on debt reduction, containment of operational costs to achieve a balanced budget annually, increased investment capacity, expansion of key profit-making sectors (e.g., SVS Press), and growth of the seminary’s endowment. The main goal of both the new governance model and the new business plan, according to the Trustees, is to ensure that the seminary possesses a solid, sustainable financial base that will continue to support its greater mission to train clergy and lay leaders, far into the future.
Additionally, the new governance model and the new business plan accord with 21st century “best practice” methods for non-profit educational institutions. Other seminaries, which, like Saint Vladimir’s are accredited by the Association for Theological Schools (ATS) and must adhere to its fiscal expectations and requirements, are adopting similar models and plans.
Alex Machaskee, Executive Chair of the Board at Saint Vladimir’s, noted, “I want to make clear that the Board is indebted to both Father John Behr and Father Chad Hatfield for their hard and good work during these past nearly ten years, and we believe that the new ‘functional’ organizational model we’ve adopted will allow them — and any new administrators — to concentrate on areas best suited to their individual gifts and talents, thus allowing them to blossom in their particular vocations.
“I am very pleased with the prudent, thorough process undertaken by the Board to make the change in the leadership structure,” Mr. Machaskee continued. “By providing the seminary with economic ‘bedrock,’ we will allow it to advance what has always been its mission: academic excellence coupled with even more emphasis on spiritual formation.”
Mr. Machaskee added two more points: the new governance model has required a change in the seminary’s statutes, which are being revised; and the seminary administration will be in a “year of transition” while implementing this model. In particular, he pointed out that during the year of transition, the Archpriest Dr. John Behr, formerly “Dean” in the bicameral system, will retain his title as Dean, continue in his role as Rector, and perform other duties within his current job description, while the Archpriest Dr. Chad Hatfield, formerly “Chancellor/CEO” in the bicameral system, will immediately assume the position of Chief Executive Officer within the new structure while a search for the newly defined CEO position is conducted and until that search is concluded. Father Chad’s primary work during the year of transition will be to implement the newly adopted business plan.
“Both of these men are not only welcome, but also expected, to apply for positions within the new organizational structure for when their current term — originally begun as ‘Dean’ and ‘Chancellor/CEO’ — concludes June 30, 2017,” Mr. Machaskee explained.
In response to the new governance model, Fr. Chad remarked, “After much labor in trying to address the financial and spiritual challenges that constantly bombard the seminary, and after due process, we administrators and the Board have come to the same conclusion regarding the need for a new business plan and the need for a new governance model, and here, I’m reminded of Father Alexander Schmemann’s cogent words: ‘The Church must change to remain the same.’ In other terms, Saint Vladimir’s must change to remain the same jewel it is among Orthodox seminaries.”
Father John Behr concurred, saying, “During my time as Dean, we have already responded to the vast and radical changes today’s seminaries must make in order to stay both viable and effective, for example, by engaging a much broader range of distinguished scholars willing and able to serve as extended faculty members at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, expanding and enriching in this way the opportunities for the education and formation of our students.
“At the heart of this change in the structure of leadership at the seminary is the commitment to maintaining the reputation, nationally and internationally, our seminary has for the quality of its theological education and spiritual formation, a precious legacy inherited from the luminaries of the twentieth century,” Father John concluded. “I hope that the Church and our alumni stand by us — and monitor our progress — as we transition to a model and plan that we confidently believe will strengthen our school.”
“Father Thomas especially wanted the History volume to include questions because it is the longest one and is the most thoroughly revised and expanded, through his efforts and those of Dr. David C. Ford of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary,” said Matushka Valerie Zahirsky, DCE Chairperson. “The volume offers a great deal of material, and questions can help readers review and mentally organize the information it presents.”
DCE members have developed 109 questions for the 20-chapter volume, which spans the Church’s history from the first to the 20th and into the 21st centuries. Each question is keyed to the text’s page numbers, while answers are provided in a separate document.
“Several answers also offer points for reflection, to take the reader a little deeper into the facts presented in the book,” Matushka Valerie added. “For example, an answer to a question in the first chapter dispels the false notion that the early Christians were attracted to the new faith because they were all poor, desperate people who therefore welcomed Christianity’s ‘pie in the sky’ promises.
“The questions and answers can be used as a review of each chapter, but they might also give members of a reading group things to look for before they begin a chapter,” said Matushka Valerie. “For example, a group leader might ask members reading about the third and fourth centuries to find three ways in which baptism today is like baptism in that early period, or to describe how what we know as the ‘weekend’ came about. In reading about the 20th century, they might be asked to identify the most thoroughly Orthodox nation in the world, to find out what was notable about Archbishop John, a former head of the Orthodox Church in Finland, or to name the language in which Archbishop Theophan Noli celebrated the Liturgy for the first time anywhere in the world.”
The resources also may be used in conjunction with other materials available from the DCE.
“For example, a question about the 18th century refers to the respect with which the missionaries to Alaska treated the indigenous people and their customs,” Matushka Valerie explained. “Readers can find out more about this in the DCE’s activity book, Saints of North America and also by using the captioned life icons and life stories of three of these missionary saints. Similarly, a question about the 20th century refers to Saint Nicholas, the Enlightener of Japan, about whom readers can find an informative account of his life, a photograph and a map of his travels in the DCE’s activity book, Saints Commemorated in the Litiya Prayers.”
Similar study guides are being prepared by DCE staff members for the series’ other three volumes.
The annual meeting of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s [OCMC] Board of Directors was held here May 9-10, 2016. Board members from across the country attended the meeting. Also present were participants on an OCMC short-term healthcare team who were preparing to serve in Indonesia. Board members participated in the commissioning prayer for the team, which will be using their professional skills to minister at the RSU Theotokos Hospital in Medan.
The Board welcomed two new members during the meeting, Armin Brown of Cypress, CA from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North Americae and Frank Catrickes of Boston, MA from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Also recognized were members of the Executive Committee whose terms are ending, especially the officers—Priest George Liacopulos, President; John Colis, Vice President; William Birchfield III, Treasurer; and Dr. Gayle Woloschak, Secretary. A new slate of officers will be voted upon and installed this summer.
“We appreciate the work that has been done and will continue to be done through the support of those participating in the work carried out through the OCMC Board,” stated Priest Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director.
The Board received a positive report on the organization’s financial health. A report from OCMC’s independent outside auditor announced that the agency received a clean audit on its 2015 financials.
A large part of the meeting involved reviewing OCMC’s new three-year strategic plan. Father Martin led the Board in looking at the vision and mission of OCMC for the next three years and beyond. He mentioned the three core focus areas that drive mission efforts, which include bringing non-Christians to Christ, helping to establish the Church in places where it is newly emerging or re-emerging, and encouraging self-support for the programs and parishes that have been started in the mission field. These focus areas work toward OCMC’s overlying vision “to bring all people to know the saving love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The OCMC Staff and Board, along with His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, retired Executive Director, enjoyed a dinner together on the evening of May 10, during which Indonesia Healthcare Team Leader Dr. Cheryl Johnson gave a presentation about her journey to Orthodoxy and how missions had been an integral part of that journey. Presentations such as Cheryl’s bring to life the work of OCMC in a way that makes it tangible and relevant for those who hear it. OCMC thanks God for the continued opportunity to make disciples of all nations through His grace and provision.
Focusing on foreign missions, OCMC is a pan-Orthodox agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. Its Board includes members of several jurisdictions, including the Orthodox Church in America. Currently, several OCA clergy and laity serve as OCMC missionaries, following the lead of many who have served on mission teams during OCMC’s three decades of ministry. Visit OCMC’s web site for a wealth of information on the agency’s ministries around the world.
Original Photo from St. Seraphim Chapel at St. Anthony Monastery-Florence, AZ
Original Photo from St. Seraphim Chapel at St. Anthony Monastery-Florence, AZ
Hebrews 11: 1, 3, 6
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear...Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
"Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you shall be saved." - St. Seraphim of Sarov
Ss Peter and Paul Orthodox Church1411 SW 11 StreetMiami, FL 33135305-858-2924
The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish.
It is catholic, but not Roman.
It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of
the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.