August 30, 2014

OCL Laments “Few tangible results” at Episcopal Assembly


Source: Orthodox Christian Laity I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16-17, The tone of the meeting was polite. The meeting had the feeling of a classroom. The Professor directed the class, and the students sat quietly and listened. The meeting was organized and tightly controlled. Formal addresses were presented by Archbishop Demetrios (GOA), Metropolitan Philip (AOCA) and Archbishop Justinian (MP). To his credit, Archbishop Demetrios suggested that lay involvement in committees is essential and should be increased. The committees need to make use of the talents of the laity. Metropolitan Philip lamented that we are still disunited. Orthodoxy in North America cannot live with this disunity. He lamented the continued loss of youth. The students/Bishops did not receive written committee reports in advance. … [Read more...]

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Or, Where Lies CEOYLA?


The CEOYLA struggled for years to please the hierarchs and the clergy, to be understood, to be accepted, to be messengers of a unified Church in North America, but to no avail. They didn’t know what they were doing ‘wrong’ or what was considered ‘acceptable.’ The Church withdrew or let languish its support of the CEOYLA and the young of the various ‘jurisdictions’ stood apart, as though some form of invisible ‘ecclesiastical Berlin Walls’ had been erected between them. (Bp. Nathaniel Popp in Solia – The Herald, April 2000.) Source: Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) By Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp) As everyone knows, a flower has the potential to become fruit, which, in turn, bears seed that is a source of new life. An old German song entitled “Where have all the flowers gone?” referred to the young men who had been sent off to war. It was a verifiable assumption that many would not return to initiate new life in society. What a dismal future this foretold, youth nipped in … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) honors CEOYLA Members and Movement at Upcoming Annual Meeting


Source: Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) CEOYLA MEMBERS PLEASE HELP! Mark Your Calendar! OCL 24th Annual Meeting Pittsburgh, PA OCTOBER 7 and 8, 2011 Theme: Honoring CEOYLA MEMBERS and Movement Marriott Courtyard…Call in Reservation 412-683-3113 5308 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224 Related article: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Or, Where Lies CEOYLA? Program to take place at Holy Assumption of St Mary Church (South Side), 105 South 19th Street, Pittsburgh, PA - Hieromonk Patrick Carpenter, Pastor The 24th Orthodox Christian Laity OCL Annual Program Meeting will honor the work and memory of the “greatest generation” of Orthodox Christian lay activists who comprised the Council of Eastern Orthodox Youth Leaders of the Americas movement (CEOYLA). CEOYLA was formally established in 1954, and its first chairperson was Ernie Villas of blessed memory. But the vision began in the mid 1940’s, when the Orthodox faithful who eventually comprised … [Read more...]

Letter from William Souvall, OCL President, to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops


A letter from Orthodox Christian Laity president William Souvall. Highlights: ...The need for thorough committee work is understood, but it should not delay palpable unity-related activities which can be undertaken immediately: such as increased and highly visible Pan-Orthodox worship services throughout America. With few exceptions, the Orthodox presently worship together only on the Sunday of Orthodoxy when attendance is often disappointingly low. In some regions, even this minimal activity has either been neglected or discouraged. Is it not fair to ask why Pan-Orthodox activities and initiatives at almost every level rank so low in priority? This example is cited to demonstrate that such activities need not wait for the formal committee work which the Assembly is laboring to commence. [...] ...Unless the Church’s leadership vocally, visibly, and urgently insists that unity matters, this present woeful situation will persist. We suggest that the Assembly address this … [Read more...]

The Episcopal Assembly: Hopes and Realities

HT: St. Andrews Orthodox Forum By Fr. John Erickson Orthodox Christian Laity Annual Meeting Salt Lake City, Utah October 15-16, 2010 In June 2009 representatives of the fourteen universally recognized Orthodox churches gathered at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneva, Switzerland. This Fourth Preconciliar Commission meeting issued an official decision concerning the so-called diaspora, which - among other things - affirmed the churches’ desire “to resolve the problem of the diaspora as quickly as possible... in accordance with Orthodox ecclesiology and the canonical tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church.” The decision deemed “an immediate transition to the strictly canonical order” impossible “for historical and pastoral reasons.” Instead, to “prepare the ground for a strictly canonical solution of the problem,” it mandated the creation of Episcopal Assemblies in various regions of the diaspora. As a supplement to this decision, the … [Read more...]

Pentecost 2010 Springtime for the Church in the Americas!

By George Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity Behold how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity — Psalm 133:1 During the week following Pentecost, May 26-27, 2010 sixty five Orthodox Christian bishops, who have their sees in North and Central America, have been invited to gather at the Helmsley Park Hotel. The bishops will convene as the Episcopal Assembly which is an interim-transitional governing body of the Orthodox Christian Church in this New World territory. The purpose of the Assembly is to begin the process of developing the foundation for a canonically ordered unified Orthodox Church in the Americas. The blueprint that they develop for a canonically United Church will require more than this initial meeting. This process must eventually involve the whole body of the Church including clergy and laity. The final product, fashioned through a conciliar process and representing the work of the people of God will be presented … [Read more...]

“Don’t Call Us…We’ll Call You” – The Pentecost Experience of Evangelical Orthodox Christians at the Phanar

Source: Orthodox News By: George Matsoukas June 11, 2006 As we celebrate Pentecost 2006, it is useful to remember Pentecost Sunday, June 2, 1985.  That is the date and feast day that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its Holy and Sacred Synod of Bishops chose to refuse an audience with the party of 18 Evangelical Orthodox Christians whose 12 year journey to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church led them to the Church of St. George at the Phanar, Istanbul, Turkey.  Some of the details of this journey have been chronicled by Father Peter Gillquist in his book “Becoming Orthodox.” The 18 Evangelical Orthodox Christians at the Pentecost services, the first kneeling service they witnessed, included their top leadership: Father Peter Gillquist the presiding leader, Father Gordon Walker, leader of the members of the movement from the East and Father Richard Ballew, the leader of the members from the western part of the USA.  Representing the Greek … [Read more...]

OCL and Abp. Demetrios discuss Episcopal Assembly

April 21, 2010 - A delegation from Orthodox Christian Laity met last week with His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in New York City, William Souvall, OCL President, announced today. “The main reason for our visit was to inform His Eminence of OCL’s enthusiastic support for the upcoming Episcopal Assembly of all Orthodox bishops in North and Central America which will take place in New York in late May. We particularly wanted to express to the Archbishop the appreciation of OCL’s membership for his leadership in convening this unprecedented meeting and for the important responsibility he will assume as the chairman of the Assembly,” Mr. Souvall stated. … [Read more...]

OCL Prayer for Episcopal Assembly

February 26, 2010 To the Servants of God who attend the Orthodox Christian Church in the Americas. Prayer for the Episcopal Assembly At its February meeting, the Board members of Orthodox Christian Laity unanimously concurred that the most effective support Orthodox Christians in North and Central America – Hierarchs, Clergy and Laity, can provide to the more than 60 bishops who shepherd this land mass, as they move forward to develop a plan for manifesting the unity of the Orthodox Christian Church of the Americas, is to fervently pray every day for the successful convening and conclusion of the first Episcopal Assembly. This Assembly will take place in the week following the feast of Pentecost. Therefore, during this period of the Great and Holy Fast and the season of the Resurrection and Pentecost which follows, let us pray: … [Read more...]

Moscow clarifies its position on Orthodoxy in America

Source: Yahoo! Groups [From the December 2009 Orthodox Christian Laity newsletter, vol. 5, Number 2] The following letter translated from the Russian dated November 13, 2009 was received at the OCL Office via fax November 16. It is addressed to former OCL President Peter Petkas. It is from the Moscow Patriarchate, Russian Orthodox Church Holy Synod, Department for External Church Relations, Danilov Monastery. The letter relates to the recently published "Orthodox Christianity at the Crossroad A Great Council of the Church - When and Why" Dear Mr. Petkas, On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, I would like to thank you for the series of essay[s] devoted to the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church, since the 1961 Rhodes Meeting has been a permanent participant in the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conferences. The latest, 4th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference was devoted to the diaspora, and the … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah on Orthodox Christian unity

The Orthodox Church in America's communications department has published a summary of Metropolitan Jonah's remarks at Orthodox Christian Laity's recently concluded Road to Unity conference. Highlights: Central to the fabric of a united Church, Metropolitan Jonah added, is the need to "be missionary in every aspect of its existence, reaching out to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its patristic and Orthodox integrity to the peoples of North America, incarnating the Orthodox Church in North America, and enculturating North Americans into Orthodoxy. "Each [North American] church, jurisdiction, and community has done this to its own degree, individually," Metropolitan Jonah observed. "Now we must put it all together, keeping in mind the essential goal of the sanctification of our people, our communities, our nations. Each community has something of utmost value to offer to the whole. Each community has come into existence in America through tremendous struggle, hardship … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Laity – Road to Unity (Audio)


The 2009 Road to Unity conference held at Antiochian Village in October 2009. The format was “conversational” in nature with panels, questions, and interaction between the attendees. Recorded by Ancient Faith Radio. Metropolitan Jonah - Unity in Our Time (38:10) OCA Primate Met Jonah gives the keynote address at the OCL Road to Unity conference. ++++++++++ New Face of American Orthodoxy - Alexei Kindratch (36:04) Alexei Krindatch is a director for research with the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkley, CA. ++++++++++ Panel 1 - Orthodox Unity at Work and in Service (64:56) The moderator for all of the panels is Fr. John Cassar from Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church in Princeton, NJ. This panel focused on responding to real needs including educational and outreach programs that demonstrate the Unity of the Orthodox Christian Church in America. Panelists: Fr. Justin Matthews - Director of Focus North America Sister Sarah … [Read more...]