April 24, 2014

Turning the World Upside Down: Five Ideas for Orthodox Christian College Students

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By Andrew F. Estocin Each September a Sunday is set aside for Orthodox Parishes across the country to focus on the lives of college students. As students settle on campus for another academic year, it is certain that they will encounter a world full of questions about the very meaning of life and how best to live it. They will be challenged by ideas both ancient and new. Campus life will confront them with issues from what it means to be human to how to understand sex and marriage. Today’s college students are tomorrow’s parish council members, Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders. More importantly, they are tomorrow’s parents and how they understand their faith and the Church will shape Orthodox Christianity in America for years to come. Keeping college students connected to the Church has been the focus of campus ministry for decades. However, the question must be asked: What kind of Church are we keeping college students connected to? Is it an … [Read more...]

What to Believe? – The soul-searching personal journeys of Bart Ehrman & James Berends [VIDEO]

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Source: Orthodox Christian Fellowship Press release of the talk yesterday evening (February 17, 2011) and archived below. CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 4, 2011 -- The New York Times best-selling author Bart Ehrman and Eastern Orthodox priest James Berends will give a free public presentation at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 17, at the FedEx Global Education Center on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. Ehrman and Berends, both of whom graduated from Wheaton College as Evangelical Christians in 1978 and 1979 respectively, will share their subsequent three-decade spiritual journeys for the forum: "What to Believe? An Internal Struggle." Graduating Wheaton College in 1978, Ehrman received a master's degree in divinity and his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, pursuing a scholarly career in New Testament textual criticism. During that time, Berends did stints in ministry and industry between his two divinity degrees at Dallas Theological … [Read more...]

Fr. Hopko at Hope College, Feb. 23-24

Fr. Thomas Hopko, an advisor to AOI, will be speaking at an event titled "Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy: An Introduction to the Faith and Life of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church" at Hope College in Holland, Mich. The two-day program (Feb. 23-24) "will examine the Orthodox Christian faith as a way of life." The event is hosted by the college's Orthodox Christian Fellowship student organization in partnership with the Religious Life Committee at Hope, and co-sponsored by the departments of philosophy and religion, the general education program, and the offices of student development and campus ministries. The public is invited and welcome, the school says. Admission is free to all events, although a free-will offering to benefit Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Hope College will be taken after the lecture on Monday evening. For more on the lectures, and a schedule of worship services, read the release on the Hope College site. … [Read more...]

Fr. Hopko: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy

Fr. Thomas Hopko, an advisor to AOI, delivered an address in late September for the 40th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Chapel at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, a monastery for women in Ellwood City, Pa. Fr. Tom observes that while a "sprinkling" of Orthodox Christians in academic circles have been known to the wider American public, "hardly any other practicing Orthodox Christian has been publicly recognizable in American society in the past forty years." Among the clergy, the late Archbishop Iakovos is singled out for social witness in the civil rights movement. "Things are not much different today," Fr. Tom says. "But there are some notable exceptions." He opens with a sobering assessment and then explores the accomplishments of the Church in recent decades: A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy -- Reflections on the last 40 Years Membership in the Orthodox churches in North America in the past forty years has radically decreased. There … [Read more...]

Clergy-Laity: ‘a changing of mentality and attitude’

Just back from Washington where I attended the 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This was my first Clergy-Laity and I am glad I went. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, in his keynote address, went beyond the theoretical to actual application when he developed the theme of the Congress: "Gather My People to My Home." Any effort for a serious application of our theme must begin with a changing of mentality and attitude. We must change from an exclusive and all absorbing focusing on our parish to an awareness of the existence of people outside of our Parishes, Metropolises and Archdiocese. People who have the right to know what we know as the truth of God, to taste the joy of participating in our ecclesial community, and to experience the blessings we experience to be with God as we are by being Greek Orthodox Christians. The area of our focused action should gradually be enlarged by including those who are outside, by … [Read more...]