Blessing the stream on the mission’s property on the Great Feast of Theophany.
Saint Juvenaly and His Companion Mission, Wasilla, AK, recently was awarded a second-year Church Planting Grant from the Orthodox Church in America.
“It has been a great help for our mission to receive this grant,” said Archpriest Mikel Bock, Priest-in-Charge, who has been a part of other missions that started with little and has witnessed how through consistent prayer and work they were able to grow. “This grant helps relieve some of the financial worries of the priest, so that more focus can be put into the mission, and all missions have their ups and downs.”
Fr. David Rucker conducts a mission seminar at St. Juvenaly Mission.
And Saint Juvenaly’s, like all missions, has had its ups and downs, Father Mikel added.
“When Saint Juvenaly’s was planted, it was said that anyone can build a building, but building a church begins inside each and every one of us,” Father Mikel continued. “The commitment that we make to Christ is to carry the message of the Gospel to as many as we can throughout our community—this is how a church grows. This same commitment to Christ and His church is what gets us through the ups and downs that take place.”
Father Mikel is quick to add that “this commitment we make also has to be long term, because it is very easy on the downside to get discouraged. We have to remember that if we are fulfilling Christ’s will, He will provide.
Faithful receive Communion during Vesperal Liturgy on Great and Holy Saturday 2017.
“Because of seasonal work, some months’ finances are good, while others not so good, but the Planting Grant offers the ability to focus on the work of the church, which helps the church become more stable and grow,” Father Mikel continued. “Many outreach programs have been established already, but the goal is to be more prominent in aiding those who are in need, whether the sick, less fortunate, or people in prison.”
Father Mikel noted that “one of the good things about having our own building is that we are able to hold services often. Throughout the year, we celebrate services for all the major and minor feasts, as well as for many of the saints’ commemorations, which helps bring the people together more often. We are fortunate to have a stream on the back of the property, with a warm spring, which is ideal for Theophany, no matter how cold it gets.”
As with all growing mission communities, the faithful of Saint Juvenaly’s anticipate ongoing work and ministry, from the spiritual to the physical.
Faithful celebrate Holy Pascha.
“The Planting Grant enables me to be available for the building up of the community, whether it be through the celebration of services and sacraments or for counseling, visits and talks,” Father Mikel said. “We visit the men’s prison—an hour and a half drive—three to five times every month, in addition to the women’s prison. And then there are always those things that need to be done around the church. The planting Grant has been a great help, and will continue to be a help in bringing the faith to the Wasilla area.”
“We are currently seeking photos depicting the beautiful interiors of our OCA churches,” said Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. “Selected photos will be featured in next year’s calendar. We also hope to receive photos taken throughout the liturgical year and interior photos taken from unique angles and perspectives.”
Each parish is invited to submit a maximum of three  high resolution photos, which should be sent as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the parish’s name and location, the name[s] of the parish clergy, and contact info.
“Photos selected for publication will be credited appropriately,” Father Sergius added. “We anticipate that 23,500 copies of the 2018 calendar will be printed.”
The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt — considered “spiritually powerful” by a large and widely diverse audience — will provide the basis for an exploration of the relationship between sound and the sacred at an upcoming international conference in the heart of New York City’s arts scene. Musicologists, art historians, performance artists, experts in architectural acoustics, and renowned scholars and theologians will gather for the event, titled “Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred”, May 1–4, 2017.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will be among the conference speakers. He will be offering theological reflections on the conference theme in a presentation titled “The Sound of Silence: The Appeal of Arvo Pärt to the Human Heart.”
The conference, which is open to the public, will be held in McNally Amphitheater at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 140 West 62 Street, New York, NY. Additionally, a public musical performance of Pärt’s music with the Goeyvaerts String Trio+, organist and Pärt scholar Andrew Shenton, and percussionist Yousif Sheronick, will be held on Wednesday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m., at Holy Trinity Church, 213 West 82 Street, New York, NY.
Other confirmed speakers and participants include Andrew Albin, Peter Bouteneff, Jeffers Engelhardt, Kevin C. Karnes, Alexander Lingas, Ivan Moody, Bissera Pentcheva, Robert Saler, Andrew Shenton, Toomas Siltan and Sevin Yarman. An exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier, a specialist in Pärt’s music and world-renowned choral conductor, will also be screened. Additionally, musical performances will be interwoven with presentations and discussion sessions.
“Arvo Pärt’s music is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred,” noted Professor Peter C. Bouteneff, Director of the seminary’s Sacred Arts Initiative and Arvo Pärt Project, “and although the composer’s own religious affiliation is Orthodox Christian, his music carries an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries, and even crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.
“Moreover, Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically — and more recently through the lens of spirituality — but it has not yet be studied in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment,” Prof. Bouteneff continued. “So, at this conference, we will seek to break new ground, in exploring how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.”
Pascha 2017 - To the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Members of Philanthropic Organizations, the Youth and Youth Workers, and the entire Orthodox Christian Family in the United States of America (show less)
The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is inviting graduate and recent post-graduate students to apply for its fellowships at the United Nations. (show less)
Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week. (show less)
Dr. Angeliki Ziaka, Associate Professor of Religion at the School of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, will deliver the annual Archbishop Iakovos Memorial Lecture at 7 pm on Thursday, April 27, in the Reading Room of the Archbishop Iakovos Library. The lecture (free and open to the public) is sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology’s Archbishop Iakovos Chair of Theology in remembrance of His Eminence’s passionate leadership in ecumenism, interfaith relationships, and human rights. Dr. Ziaka’s lecture, “Orthodox Christians and Muslims: Interfaith Collaboration, Opportunities, and Challenges,”will draw from her active involvement in interfaith dialogue with Muslims in Eastern Europe, her research interests, and her teaching.
Dr. Ziaka’s teaching and research interests cover a wide chronological and thematic range with regard to Islam, including early and medieval Islamic historiography, Byzantine and post-Byzantine literature on Islam, religious historical narratives, and the rearticulating of Muslim identities through religious discourse and political realities in the Middle East, especially Shi’a and Ibadi Islam, as well as interreligious dialogue and religious education in religious and secular environments and institutions. She has published extensively in her field of research.
Dr. Ziaka is a member of several scientific associations. She coordinated the research project (2008-2009) for Aristotle University’s Research Commission entitled “The countries of the Arab Gulf and Europe. For the support of research being carried out in the Sultanate of Oman,” and was the organizer of the International Conference on Ibadism and the Sultanate of Oman (2009). Dr. Ziaka was the scientific coordinator for the Training of Teachers of Religion in Secondary Education (Christians and Muslims) for the region of Western Thrace, in Greece (June 2014-December 2015). She is currently the scientific coordinator of Islamic Studies at Aristotle University.
From February 1 to April 15 the Rus’ Foundation distributed free food products from the Lyubyatovo company to more than 75,000 needy children in ten regions of Russia, reports Foma.
More than 2 million breakfast cereals, cookies, and crackers were distributed in Moscow and the surrounding areas, St. Petersburg and the surrounding region, Voronezh, Pskov, Smolensk, Rostov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Tatarstan, as part of the “Invest Your Heart in a Great Work” program.
“Our foundation feeds the needy throughout the country. It’s not easy to find free food; of course businesses work first of all for profit. Together with Lyubyatovo, we’ve already seen a spurt for several years now during Lent, with a significant increase in the amount of fasting products people buy, including thanks to the campaign,” said Rus’ Foundation head Victoria Krisko.
According to her, the cooperation “allows the company to produce and allocate the additional volume of products free of charge to the foundation for distribution to the needy.”
Every purchase of Lyubyatovo fasting products marked with “Invest Your Heart in a Great Work” helps to produce the additional products that go to needy children living in difficult situations, from low-income and large families, foster families, children with disabilities, and children from orphanages and other social institutions.
The distribution of free food during Lent has been held annually since 2015. More than 300,000 needy children have already received assistance.
With this light that shines in our hearts we will also offer a witness through our observance of Lent and through our lives. As we know and experience God’s grace, others will see His offering of forgiveness. They will see the power of grace to transform life and bring healing and restoration. They will find salvation in Christ as the grace of God works in and through us to show all His redeeming love. (show less)
This period is one of constant contrition before the mystery of God that daily unfolds before us, the mystery of our salvation. This is why the opportunity granted to us with the Sacred Fast has a special characteristic: the renewal and vigilance of the soul that is called for during this time filled with divine exhortation and sanctity to become aware of the ephemeral and material, while gradually being transferred to the eternal and spiritual. (show less)