“We have the particularity of various lands and nations of origin, but our identity as Orthodox Christians stems from our confession of faith and the baptismal font where we derive our “birth from above,” and so we can charitably call every man our brother, since Christ made us all to be renewed in Himself.”…A personal encounter and a continuous intercourse with the Living God. The ultimate goal…is precisely the holy man and the holy community, i.e. the Holy Church, and just the holy system.” We live now in a perilous state in society in general, both morally and intellectually. We need to be ready to reach out to everyone, with confidence that we can address their need for spiritual healing with the Holy Gospel.
Youth Ministry should provide an environment within which our youth can encounter Christ, It should create an atmosphere that facilitates the development of their personal relationships with Christ, Once a relationship with Christ has been developed to provide opportunities for the fostering of that relationship. Our youth are seeking out community wherever they can find them, not knowing where to look. When the Liturgical Life becomes the center of the community. It is then, we can began to help them to realize their Liturgical Discipleship. Considering each from the viewpoint of Liturgical Discipleship, we would understand them as Baptism-the roots of Liturgical Discipleship, Chrismation-the sign of Liturgical Discipleship, Eucharist-the expression of the Liturgical Discipleship. The anaphora prayers aren’t for God. God knows them all already, liturgical prayers are for us. Liturgy is joy Why would keep that joy way from our Youth.
Youth, generally speaking, are narcissistic, and each successive generation seems to be more and more so. Read more.
I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will make all Thy wonders known
In the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord!
They are studied by all who have pleasure in them!
His work is glory and beauty, and His righteousness endures forever.
–Christmas Day, 1st Antiphon (Psalm 111:1-3)
Truly, “Great are the works of the Lord!”
He sees a world filled with suffering and He Himself voluntarily suffers to make a path to healing.
He sees a world dying and He Himself dies to bring resurrection and unending life.
He sees a world in darkness and He Himself enters that darkness to bring a divine light that can never be extinguished.
He sees a world in bondage to the forces of evil and He submits Himself to that evil in order to destroy it forever.
The God Who is “ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible and eternally the same” empties Himself of power and divine privilege. He becomes a weak, fragile human being in order to share fully in our broken existence and in so doing offers the possibility of a life in communion with Him, with each other, and with all creation.
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galations 6:9
Today the breeze outside was a bit cool, even what you might call refreshing but then it hit me that it won’t be too long before everyday will feature cold weather, snow, sleet, and ice. If you think I’m looking forward to any of that you’re wrong. The changes in the weather, the roads, the… (fill in the blank), in reality, there will always be the good and bad. That’s life. The great philosopher Rosanne Rosanadana said, “Life. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” In the words of Forrest Gump, “Mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Isn’t that the truth? Yet, we children of our loving God realize that whatever it is that life “throws” at us, it is His gift to us, to be used for our good and that of others, for His glory. “Everything that is good come to us from above.” And everything that is NOT good? No, it doesn’t come from Him. Man’s sin brought into our world death and sickness, problems, heartache, the injustice of poverty, and all of our woes. But because God loves us, He strengthens us to endure whatever is wrong in our lives, in society, across the world to endure everything until we are with Him forever in Paradise.
Let us give thanks to the Lord. The seasons and challenges of our lives change. But there is one thing that will never change. God’s mercy and love. They endure forever. His love is beyond our comprehension. His forgiveness is constant. His blessings never cease to fall on us. With each day of life in this world-when it’s peaceful and beautiful, or even painful, we need to grow in union with Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Ship of Life, who promises to lead us through the often crashing waves of the sea to the safety and joy of Paradise.
~Fr. Laurence Lazar
Thursday, July 02, 2015
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such “marriages.”
The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a “right” for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.
As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation’s civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.