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!
Sister Dr. Vassa [Larin], the well known liturgiologist of the University of Vienna, Austria and nun of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia who hosts a popular Youtube series of catechetical programs titled “Coffee with Sr. Vassa”, will offer five presentations across eastern Pennsylvania October 17-20, 2016.
On Monday, October 17, Sister Vassa will speak at Holy Cross Church, 1725 Holy Cross Lane, Williamsport, PA at 7:00 p.m. Her topic will be “Sharing the Gospel in the Age of the Internet.”
Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary, 175 Saint Tikhon’s Road, South Canaan, PA will host Sister Vassa on Tuesday, October 18 at noon, when she will speak on “Contemporary Challenges in Pursuing Vocations.” At 7:00 p.m. that evening, she will speak on “Keeping Christ in Orthodoxy” at Holy Trinity Church, 401 East Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA.
“Scripture in Orthodox Liturgy and Everyday Life” will be the topic of Sister Vassa’s presentation at Christ the Saviour Church, 5501 Old Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.
The final presentation in the series will be delivered at Saint Stephen Cathedral, 8598 Verre Road, Philadelphia, PA on Thursday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. Sister Vassa’s topic will be “Keeping Christ in Orthodoxy.”
The series is being presented by the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America and the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania. A PDF flyer is available on-line.
Fr. John Behr (front row, second from left) with his class of 72 students at St. Athanasius College.
Archpriest Dr. John Behr, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] here, recently returned from a three-week teaching assignment in Australia, where he offered an intensive course in Patristics, titled “The School of Alexandria,” at Saint Athanasius Coptic Theological College [SAC] from June 24-July 10, 2016. He also served and delivered public lectures in ten parishes of the Greek, Russian, Antiochian, Serbian and Coptic Orthodox communities, headlined a “Youth in Christ” meeting, led a spiritual retreat for clergy, and gave a nationally syndicated interview on ABC Radio’s “The Spirit of Things” program.
Additionally, he delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools, reporting for the first time in public on the findings from his new translation of and extensive introduction to Origen’s On First Principles, slated to be published by OUP in December 2017. At the same conference he also participated in a book launch of The Life of Repentance and Purity, by Pope Shenouda III, a collaborative publication between Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press and SAC Press, which has become the fastest selling title in SVS Press’s history.
Fr. John Behr with Archbishop Paul, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Archdiocese in Australia, at St. Nicholas Church in Sydney.
Also included in his schedule were meetings with His Eminence, Archbishop Stylianos of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and Dean and founder of Saint Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney; and His Eminence, Archbishop Paul, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. All told, Father John spoke to nearly 1,300 people in the metro areas of Sydney and Melbourne.
Father John’s teaching engagements were coordinated by two Saint Vladimir’s alumni: His Grace, Bishop Dr. Suriel, Chancellor and Dean of SAC and Bishop of the Coptic Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, and Christine Jabbour Ayoub (M.A. ’03). Both offered high praise and appreciation for Father John’s visit.
Fr. John Behr exchanging gifts with Archbishop Stylianos of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and dean and founder of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney.
In the July 10 and July 17, 2016 editions of Epsajee, a diocesan publication of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Suriel stated, “Our visiting lecturer, Father John Behr, has returned to New York, leaving behind a legacy of academic rigor in learning, a love of the church fathers, and a genuine commitment to cultivate service and community in our Christian journey.
“Words could not fully capture the impact that Father John’s visit and input has had upon students, staff, clergy and others at SAC,” he continued, “And everyone has been challenged by Father John’s dedication to lifelong learning, his love of God, and his generosity in sharing his profound knowledge of Church history—especially the early Church Fathers—in a contemporary, eloquent, and engaging manner.”
Father John himself expressed gratitude for the opportunities given to him to renew and strengthen ties between Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and a broad base of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christian communities—ties that in part began with a visit to Australia by Dean Emeritus, Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko (+2015), in 1997. He especially remarked on burgeoning possibilities for future student exchange and joint work between the publication houses of SVOTS and SAC.
Fr. John Behr with Bishop Suriel at a Youth in Christ meeting.
“I am expecting more Australian students, at the request of Bishop Suriel, to come to our Seminary in New York to be carefully and highly educated in our Master of Arts and Master of Theology Programs,” said Father John, “and then to return to SAC as faculty prepared to influence hundreds and hundreds of future students by instruction in sound theology. They, along with many other foreign students we’re expecting—Antiochian, Serbian, Greek—will join our American family here at SVOTS, continuing our long history of being the place where Orthodox Christians of all ethnic and jurisdictional backgrounds are praying and studying together in unity.
“Moreover,” he added, “SAC Press will also soon begin acting as a distribution center for SVS Press books in Australia, and this amazing arrangement will allow Saint Vladimir’s to continue its mission of spreading the Word of God through the written word.”
With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West and the support of His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska, a pilgrimage cruise and conference-at-sea will be held September 2-9, 2017.
Sailing from Seattle to explore Juneau, Sitka, Glacier Bay, and other sites on the Holland America Westerdam, participants will attend a wide variety of daily lectures, services and workshops. Bishop David will participate, together with Archpriest Michael Oleksa, a recognized authority on Alaskan history and spirituality, and Archpriest Laurent Cleenewerck, Rector of Saint Innocent Church, Eureka, CA, who is also an academic and author.
Additional information, including rates and agenda, is available on-line. With only 50 “seats” available for this event, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Melanie Ringa, Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America, released the financial results for the first two quarters of 2016. The complete report is available in PDF format.
Highlights of the report include the following.
The balance sheet as of June 30, 2016 indicates total assets of $2,847,991.00, total liabilities of $237,618.00, and net assets of $2,610,373.00—a $63,113.00 increase year-to-date.
Actual results show a surplus of $63,113.00. The Unrestricted [Operating] Fund showed a new surplus of $43,162.00 for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 and a net deficit of $25,370.00 for the quarter ended June 30, 2016—a year-to-date operating surplus of $17,792.00.
Year-to-date contributions to the “Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America” totaled $38,313.00—$8,723.00 above the anticipated amount—while the $39,731.00 in Departmental expenses, compared to a budget of $51,375.00, also resulted in a positive variance of $11,644.00.
Income and unrealized investment gains totaled $45,914.00 with expenses of $4,052.00, for a net surplus of $41,862.00.
“Father Sergei’s contributions to the Orthodox Church go far beyond the English-speaking world,” said Father Ivan Moody, ISOCM Board Chairman. “While he is justly known for his work with liturgical music in English, the fact that his compositions and arrangements have been translated into multiple languages speaks for its universality, and the way in which the music is guided not only by the text but by the liturgical action it accompanies.”
The nearly 150 individuals who participated in the ISOCM-sponsored symposium had the unique opportunity to sing the settings during a liturgy for the very first time.
“It’s exciting to have new compositions because they represent a maturation of Orthodoxy here in North America,” said Toni Simmons, a symposium participant and member of Minneapolis’ Saint Mary’s Cathedral, site of the gathering. “We sing settings translated from Russian, Romanian, Serbian, and Greek, and now we have more and more settings written in English that represent our contribution to world Orthodoxy.”
For Father Sergei, the compositions allowed him to participate in the symposium from afar.
“God bless you one and all for the love you have for giving to the holiness we celebrate in worship,” he said. “May our loving Lord hear your singing and be pleased!”
“Our goal is to prepare newly ordained priests for the most challenging circumstances imaginable, and those certainly would include liturgically challenging situations,” remarked Archpriest Dr. John Behr, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here. “That’s why we’re restructuring our music and liturgics courses for our Master of Divinity students—because we’re finding they sometimes end up in parishes with no deacon, no chanter, no choir director, and perhaps even, no choir!
Matushka Robin Freeman
“To meet such new challenges, the seminary has hired Matushka Robin Freeman as its new Director of Music, Harrison Russin as its new Lecturer in Liturgical Music, and Archpriest Dr. Eric G. Tosi as its new Assistant Professor of Liturgics,” Father John added. “All three will begin teaching at the start of the fall semester on August 29, 2016.”
A conductor and singer, Matushka Robin holds a Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance from Gordon College and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Indiana University. She has worked with a wide range of choirs, including professional chamber choirs, church choirs, children’s choirs, community choirs, college choirs, and opera choruses. As a singer, she has travelled across North America, Europe and Asia performing a wide variety of repertoire that includes opera, chamber music, and jazz.
Matushka Robin joined the seminary’s faculty in 2012 as Lecturer in Liturgical Music, teaching courses in beginning and advanced conducting. She conducted the Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Chorale in three concert programs, two of which were presented in New York City. Under her direction, the Chorale also released two recordings with Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
In addition to her work with the choirs of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, she was engaged by the Princeton Festival, a multi-dimensional performing arts summer festival, for several seasons as Chorus Master, Assistant Conductor, and Assistant to the Artistic and General Director. In 2015, she served as the Chorus Master for the Festival’s production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She also has also served as the Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Yonkers, NY.
“I consider it a joy and a privilege to be a member of the music faculty at Saint Vladimir’s, which has a long and well-known history of musical excellence,” said Matushka Robin. “I want our ordained graduates to have the confidence to sing the liturgical services alone if necessary, and I want them to be competent enough to organize the music and to direct, for example, a small, struggling choir at a Vespers service — feedback from our alumni indicates they often face such circumstances in both mission and established parishes.”
While acting as Lecturer in Liturgical Music as a Dean’s Fellow, Harrison Russin also will be completing his Ph.D. in Musicology at Duke University. “Although my doctoral dissertation is typically academic — it’s titled ‘The Polyphonic Credo, 1350–1500’ — my new assignment at the seminary will be hands-on and will deal with the nitty-gritty basics of liturgical choral singing,” he said. “I’ll be teaching one skills course per week and other musicology courses as my part-time ‘Dean’s Fellowship’ position allows, and I’ll be rehearsing the male choir weekly, as well as directing them both in our Chapel and on parish visitations. I’ll also direct other choral ensembles when necessary.”
Harrison was Saint Vladimir’s Seminary’s Class of 2013 Valedictorian. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in Music at Swarthmore College in 2009, and is the recipient of several scholarly awards, including the J. Fletcher Graduate Fellowship in Music from Duke University in 2015 and “The Promise of the Vatican Library,” a travel grant for Junior Scholars, from Notre Dame University and the Vatican Library in 2016.
“I am honored to return to Saint Vladimir’s to assist in musical ministry,” continued Mr. Russin. “The Seminary has, since its founding, been a leader in training church musicians and in publishing new and old music for the Church, and I look forward to helping to maintain the high standard that has already been achieved.”
Fr. Eric Tosi
Also ensuring those high standards will be Father Eric Tosi, 1996 seminary alumnus and Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America since 2008. Father Eric will be training seminarians to celebrate the liturgical services with dignity and grace and will be imparting to them an understanding of the essential components of the services.
Father Eric earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, and his doctoral thesis was titled “Koinonic Evangelism: A Case Study of the Theology and Practice of Evangelism in Three Parishes of the Orthodox Church in America.” He has had experience as a pastor at Saint Nicholas of South Canaan Church, Billings, MT and Saint Paul the Apostle Church, Las Vegas, NV. Since 2013 he also has been the manager of the OCA’s Parish Mentorship Program at the seminary, which places senior seminarians under the mentorship of seasoned priests in local parishes.
“I am so very pleased to be joining the faculty of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary on a more permanent basis,” Father Eric remarked. “To be appointed to this position and to continue to train future clergy, following the footsteps of the great teachers who have taught here…well, this is an honor. I pray we faculty build upon their foundations and continue to provide the Church with quality leaders and clergy.”
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.