July 22, 2014

Orthodox Christian Laity Says Patriarch Bartholomew’s Remarks to SCOBA Boost Orthodox Unity Effort in America

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN LAITY Press Release November 3, 2009 For more information contact: George Matsoukas 877-585-0245 Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) described Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s remarks to the recently-held SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) meeting held in New York City on October 27, 2009 “as another important step on the road to Orthodox Unity in the United States.” “By reaffirming his support for the unity process which commenced a year ago in Istanbul and subsequently refined this past June in Chambesy, Switzerland, His All Holiness delivered a clear message to America’s Orthodox leadership that he backs the unity effort,” said Bill Souvall, newly-elected President of OCL. Mr. Souvall added that the Patriarch “demonstrated an acute understanding of our situation in the United States,” citing excerpts from his remarks which referred to the evolving status quo of the Church in America. “Patriarch Bartholomew’s … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Laity issued a call for broad community support and involvement in Orthodox Unity efforts which will formally begin when all Orthodox Bishops in North America meet after Pentecost in May, 2010.   The independent lay movement announced its action plan on October 31 at the end of its 22nd Annual Meeting held at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. “It appears that for the first time in the history of the Orthodox Church in America, we have a process which can lead to unity, a hope which OCL has kept alive these past two decades,” stated Bill Souvall, the group’s newly-elected president. He was referring specifically to the Episcopal meeting of all Orthodox bishops which will consider preparations and plans for bringing about Orthodox unity in America.   “We stand ready to assist our bishops in any appropriate way as they prepare for this meeting and urge all concerned clergy and laity to begin their own discussions and dialogue on the important … [Read more...]

http://www.aoiusa.org/blog/4365/

Road to Unity: The A-word

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picks up Day Two of OCL's Road to Unity Conference: Orthodox bishops in America are now free to use the A-word. That's autocephaly -- meaning a self-governing church that doesn't answer to an authority overseas. America is now divided into overlapping ethnic jurisdictions, most of which answer to a church in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Many of those overseas churches had squelched talk of autocephaly for their mission dioceses in places such as the Americas and Australia. But in June they unanimously called for all bishops in each of those regions to assemble and make decisions about their own territories. "It is a transition that will lead us, as quickly as possible, to our goal of a united, autocephalous American Church," said Metropolitan Jonah, national leader of the Russian-rooted Orthodox Church in America. At the conference, the speakers and attendees examined how unity might actually take shape: Many … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the OCL Unity conference

The Road to Unity; From Vision to Action was the title of the conference that just wrapped up this evening in Ligonier, PA. You can see the topics discussed here, and read some of the day to day activity on Fr. Peter-Michael Preble's website. Presentations were very good. Many of the people who spoke were first timers to an event like this although they are very active in their fields but largely unknown in the larger Orthodox world. They represent the new leadership that is emerging and will carry Orthodoxy into American society as we move closer to unity. They include people such as Fr. Antonio Perdomo, Bryan Smith who is the headmaster of an Orthodox School, Sister Elizabeth Oftedehl who runs a home for unwed mothers, Fr. Justin Matthews, Executive Director of FOCUS, and more. This is ground up work and very exciting and very encouraging to see. It gives you a clearer sense of what can be accomplished if we put out minds to it. Met. Jonah, Bp. Nathaniel, Bp. Thomas (who has … [Read more...]

OCL’s Road to Unity Conference

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble is blogging from the Road to Unity conference here. Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette covers day one with "Orthodox Christians in U.S. face obstacles before unifying." Sister Sara Elisabet Oftedal, co-founder of Martha and Mary House in Escondido, Calif., a small home for women who choose adoption over abortion, said her board has members from the Serbian, Antiochian, and Greek jurisdictions and is incorporated in the Orthodox Church in America. "As a convert, I'm blind to the differences. But I do think it would be wonderful if we were all together because it would be a much more powerful witness," she said. The Rev. Justin Mathews, director of FOCUS North America, a pan-Orthodox ministry to aid poor Americans with food, shelter and employment, said global Orthodoxy has a long tradition of social service, but it has been neglected in America. Ministry to the poor "is the responsibility of our church and perhaps the beginning of the … [Read more...]

Ancient Faith Radio interviews George Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity

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Bobby Maddex interviews George Matsoukas, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), about the upcoming OCL conference titled “The Road to Unity: From Vision to Action—Orthodox Christianity in America.” The conference will take place from October 28th to the 31st at the Antiochian Village, and it will be broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Faithful Meet at Unity Conference

Get info on the OCL Conference here: www.ocl.org/roadtounity Contact: George Matsoukas, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Laity, 877-585-0245, ocladmin@ocl.org LIGONIER, Penn., Sept. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- Orthodox Christianity in America stands at the threshold of a new era of renewal. As the ancient faith lays down new and dynamic roots in America, new and indigenous leadership is emerging as the Church engages American culture. Meeting in Ligonier, Pennsylvania on October 20-31, 2009 for "The Road to Unity: From Vision to Action" conference, leaders and participants will develop ideas on how the American Orthodox Church can achieve unity in America. The meeting takes on greater significance as world church leaders challenge the American Orthodox jurisdictions to work together to present a nuts and bolts plan for a unified North American Church. The process toward unity was established at the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference of Orthodox … [Read more...]

The Road to Unity. From Vision to Action: Orthodox Christianity in America

Orthodox Christian Laity Continuing EducationLearning and Growing in Understanding Orthodox Christianity in America The Road to UnityFrom Vision to Action: Orthodox Christianity in America October 29-31, 2009Antiochian Village Ligonier, PA American Orthodox Christianity is already unified in doctrine and fellowship but we are not unified as jurisdictions. Orthodox Christianity can flourish in America and our Orthodox faith can give much to our nation in return. Join us this fall to examine what we can do to foster unity in America The Road to Unity is blessed by Met. Philip, Met. Jonah, and Met. Christopher. Keynote will be delivered by Met. Jonah. Other hierarchs attending include Abp. Nathaniel of Detroit and Bp. Thomas of Charleston, and the list is growing. Topics: Orthodox Unity at Work and In Service; Unity Efforts Past and Present; The Orthodox Church of America Tomorrow; Orthodoxy and American Culture; Youth; Orthodox Communication; The Great and Holy … [Read more...]

New book. Orthodox Christianity at the Crossroad: A Great Council of the Church, When and Why?

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By Archbisop Nathaniel of Detroit. HT: Orthodox News As plans are moving ahead for the convening of preparatory meetings for a Great and Holy Council to take place in Cyprus in June 2009, you need to prepare yourself for what is at stake through these meetings.  How can you prepare yourself?  Pray that the Holy Spirit guide the participants and read this timely volume: Orthodox Christianity at the Crossroad: A Great Council of the Church - When and Why One of the many tracts that the Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) organization has distributed during its twenty years of service to Holy Orthodoxy in North America is An Orthodox Christian Church in the United States: Unified and Self-governed, copyrighted in 2000. It is given out at all meetings and sent to the mailing list of the organization. On the outside back cover is a statement entitled “Resolution for Autocephaly Adopted October 10, 1998,” in which an appeal is made to His All Holiness, … [Read more...]

OCL responds to EP talk at Holy Cross

George Michalopulos, Orthodox Christian Laity board member and frequent contributor to the AOI blog, penned the official OCL response to Arch. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis' recent talk at Holy Cross School of Theology. Original article is posted on the OCL website. An OCL Board Member Responds to the Message of Chief Secretary of The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate March 25, 2009 - the Feast of the Annunciation I. Introduction: An Archimandrite Speaks Recently, a certain archimandrite, the Very Rev Dr Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, spoke at Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. His position is one of auxiliary professor at this seminary but his formal title is “Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod.” His remarks thus were more than the observations of a mere academic; indeed he stated from the outset that they were authorized by the Ecumenical Patriarch himself and “with the consent” of Archbishop Demetrios, … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah calls for ‘internal reformation’

Ecumenical News Service interviewed Metropolitan Jonah, who called for better administration and more accountability in Church governance in light of the recent financial scandals in the Orthodox Church in America. The interview was republished by UK church news service Ekklesia. ... Jonah said, "There is a lot of 'internal reformation' that has to take place in the church." He noted that the church needs to put into place systems of administration and accountability that will put it on par with "a 21st century, U.S. non-profit" organization. Other goals include making the OCA a far more visible presence within the United States, though more vigorous missionary work. Jonah notes that already 60 percent of some one million OCA laity, 70 percent of its clergy and 90 percent of its bishops are, like Jonah, converts from other denominational traditions. Jonah also wants to promote Orthodoxy unity within the United States and for U.S. Orthodox churches to explore the creation … [Read more...]

Guroian on ‘Youth, Unity and Orthodoxy in America’

Dr. Vigen Guroian delivered a talk on “Youth, Unity and Orthodoxy in America” at the 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting of Orthodox Christian Laity in Glenview, Illinois, in November. The theme of the OCL conference: “The Need for a Great and Holy Council.” Here's Dr. Guroian (an advisor to AOI) on Orthodox youth: The college or university is a synecdoche -- a metaphor – representing in microcosm the diverseness and pluralism of America. Likewise, the Orthodox students who arrive at our colleges and universities represent a microcosm of the entire Orthodox presence in America in all of its variety. They come to college for many reasons, with little thought, however, about joining in the great experiment of Pan-Orthodoxy and church unity. Unlike their immigrants forebears who came to America, these young people do not bring to college all of the institutional paraphernalia of their churches. They do carry, however, an Orthodox identity that they feel a need to share and explain … [Read more...]