Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This week's podcasts for credit...

Listen to all of these on the Orthodox Christian Network!

This week on Theologically Thinking, Fr. Athanasios Haros will speak on the topic "Welcome Home There are no strangers in God’s house" using scripture from Ephesians 2:14-22.

This week on Harmony of Thunder, Fr. David Smith explores the last sermon by St. Cyril of Jerusalem in the series "On the Christian Sacraments." The Liturgy at the time of St. Cyril was a little different than the Liturgy now, and Fr. David explores the ways in which those differences can speak to us today. A farewell to St. Cyril of Jerusalem that you will not want to miss!

This week on Special Moments in Orthodoxy, in a OCN vaulted interview Fr. Chris interviews His Grace Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Orthodox Church on the Importance of the Nativity Season and Advent taken from his presentation from Cave to Cave.

This week on Worship in Spirit and Truth, Dr. Demetrios Katos discusses the most important devotion of Christian Worship - Acts of Thanksgiving.

This week on Just Thinking, Fr. Chris and Rod Dreher look at what we have to be thankful for as they talk about a humbling spirit and humbling times.

You can get one credit for each podcast you listen to and fill out a worksheet for. Return your work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. God bless your listening!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Special Podcasts on Dec 1 and 2

On December 1st and 2nd, Come Receive the Light podcast celebrates the Feast days of the prophets Nahum and Habakkuk. Subdeacon Irenaios Anderson from Saint Herman Theological Seminary in Kokiak, Alaska, will tell us about the role of prophets in the Old Testament and these two prophets in particular. Plus, it's always a pleasure to have Frederica Mathewes-Greene on the show, and she's back with us in a new interview to talk about her book "At the Corner of East and Now: A Modern Life in Ancient Christian Orthodoxy." This insightful book was called by the Dallas Morning News, "An excellent invitation to Christians of the West to understand a tradition in which worship has neither beginning nor end." Hailed as a wonderful introduction to the faith for the non-Orthodox, join Father Chris to find out more from the author herself.

Earn one credit for each of these podcasts. Fill out the podcast worksheet for each one and return to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. Enjoy and be blessed!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NEW! Credit for Bible Study Classes held at St Luke Church

If you attend the weekday Adult Bible Study class at St Luke Church, you can receive School of the 70 credit for your participation. Here's how:

1. Bible study students must also formally enroll in the School of the 70 (that means filling out a registration form and turning it in).

2. Bible study students must turn in their homeworks to me (these are the worksheets from Lee, the Bible Study teacher, filled out by the student and initialed by Lee).

3. At the end of the Bible study (when the Bible book is finished), students must turn in a Book of the Bible School of the 70 worksheet (available from the left column on this Web site).

Each class session would be worth one credit, so a student could earn multiple credits for a multi-week session. However, students must be present in the class (not participate long-distance or be absent from class).

Credits can be back-dated to September 1, 2009.

So, St Lukians, if you are in the Bible Study class, consider this opportunity to earn more credits. And let your fellow Bible study students know about the School, too!

Orthodoxy 101 Class

You Are Cordially Invited to Attend
a Seven Week Adult Education Course at
the Orthodox On-Line
Learning Center

ORTHODOXY 101

An Introduction to Orthodox Christianity

MONDAY EVENINGS AT 6:00 PM (CST)

November 16, 23 & 30 & December 7, 14, 21 & 28

LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE HISTORY AND TEACHINGS
OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH

Watch us Live on the World Wide Web

Register for Online Access at
www.orthodoxlearningcenter.org

For Further Information or Questions Regarding

Technological Requirements for Participating

Contact us at infotech@acrod.org

An Outreach of the Diocesan Apostolate
for Christian Education

Presented by The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA. You can receive credit for these classes. Receive 1 credit for each session you attend. You must fill out the "event" worksheet at left for each session that you attend. Submit your worksheets to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NEW booklist up - for Seekers!

Are you interested in the Orthodox faith? Are you considering the Orthodox church for yourself? Then the NEW booklist Seekers is for you! The list contains many books describing the Faith and also includes testimonies and journeys to Orthodoxy stories from Protestants, Anglicans, Jews and Muslims.

To view the list, simply click on the Seekers (pdf) under the Book Lists header in the left column. You'll need Adobe Reader to view the list (go to adobe.com for that).

If you have a question about Orthodoxy, you can also contact the School at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your reading be blessed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Podcasts for Credit!

Listen to an Orthodox Christian Network podcast and receive 1 credit! Simply listen, fill out the podcast worksheet at left, and email it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Podcasts this week:

This week on Theologically Thinking, Fr. Athanasios Haros from the Transfiguration of Our Savior Greek Orthodox Church in Florence SC will speak on Tending the Garden of Our Souls, Sowing Seeds for Christ.

Last week on Harmony of Thunder, we looked at the first of the catechetical lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in which he prepares converts for the sacrament of baptism. In the second sermon, the baptism is over, and St. Cyril tells the new believers about the renunciations they pronounced just before the baptism took place. Listen to this week's Harmony of Thunder to hear how St. Cyril of Jerusalem views this important part of the baptismal rite.

This week on The Chanter's Stand, Ted Brakatselos discusses Church music and recalls the 6th International Symposium at St. Nicholas in Turkey.

Join Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News and Fr. Chris for another eposide of Just Thinking as they discuss the upcoming holiday of Christmas. The discussion though is from a decidedly Orthodox Christian perspective. How do we deal with the "Shop until you Drop" mentality of our culture? What is the significance of Advent for us?

May your listening be blessed!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Bible Study on Luke 16:19-31

Prayer
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
O Lord, it is Your will that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. You sent Your Son so none will perish. You send us opportunities to help the poor, sick and needy. This is a manifestation of Your Love for us. It is we who by not responding send ourselves into the lake of fire. Open our spiritual eyes so we respond and find You in those who need our love. We pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible verse
Luke 16:24-25
Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.'

Bible Question
Explain why Father Abraham could not grant the rich man's petition? Could Jesus grant it?

Receive one credit for this activity. Simply send your answer to oandrey(at)aol.com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

You can also see other answers here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Podcast on Second Century Christianity!

On this week's "Come Receive the Light" podcast, Fr. Demetrios Tonias will continue with the second of a four part series. He'll be discussing Christianity and Judaism in the first four centuries, which is something many of us don't know a great deal about. This segment will focus on second century Christianity. In a short segment, Fr. Stelyois Muksuris will also discuss Escatology & Divine Liturgy.

You can receive 1 credit for this podcast! Simply listen and fill out a copy of the podcast worksheet, emailing it back to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Listen now!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Bible Study - Jude 1: 6-7

Here is this week's prayer and Bible Study! To earn one credit, send your answer to the question to Father Andrew at oandrey (at) aol (d0t) com and to me at else10 (at) gmail (d0t) com.

Prayer:
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
O Lord You promised to send Your Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth. Your Holy Apostle Jude exhorted us to keep the faith that was delivered to us by the apostles. On this day as we celebrate the memory of St. Luke the Apostle, strengthen our faith so we can avoid immoral acts. Purify our lives so we do not grieve the Holy Spirit in whom we pray. Through the prayers of St. Luke, O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us. Amen.

Bible Text: Jude. 1:6-7
He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Bible Question:
How is this verse relevant to practices in Christian Churches today? (Read the entire epistle of St. Jude.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twelve Byzantine Rulers Audio Lectures for Credit

Here's a great opportunity to learn about the Byzantine Empire!

Lars Brownworth, author of Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization , offers an audio series of lectures on twelve Byzantine rulers that he delivered and now offers for FREE to familiarize people better with the Byzantine Empire.

The lectures are free to download here.

You can earn one credit for each audio lecture you listen to! Simply listen, fill out a lecture worksheet about it (download from left column of the School web site) and return to me at else10-at-gmail-dot-com.

Many thanks to Clark who pointed me to these lectures. Read the original post announcing these lectures.

May your listening be blessed!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Podcasts for Credit: The Purpose of Suffering

Here's a summary of podcasts you can listen to on The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). Earn one credit for each podcast you listen to. Simply listen, fill out the downloadable worksheet (see left column) and return to else10-at-gmail-dot-com for credit. May your listening be blessed!

On this week's CRTL podcast: Scott Cairns talks about finding a purpose in suffering. Most people only see hurt in suffering but some acquire a halo through it. Join our host Fr. Chris and Scott as they discuss a topic most people want to avoid talking about. Also we will continue our discussion about the Unity of all Orthodox Christians in America with our very special guest a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese Fr. Olof Scott.

This week on Special Moments in Orthodoxy, Bishop Kallistos live at Saint Paul's in Irvine California will continue with part two of a discussion on the Mystery of the Eucharist: Communion, Eating and Drinking at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

This week on Theologically Thinking, Proestamenos at Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Denver Fr. Apostolos Hill will discuss Sermon on the Mount – can it work in the real world?

This week on Harmony of Thunder, we take our last look at the sermons of St. Dorotheos of Gaza. Today, we explore a sermon by this great desert saint in which he compares the aquiring of the virtues to the construction of a house. His comparison has many spiritually beneficial insights - this is a program you will not want to miss!

This week on Beyond the Veil, Presbytera Jeannie will discuss Revelations Chapter 1 vs. 9 - the vision and the commission of Christ.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Prayer of the Week and BIble Study: James 5:15

Here is this week's prayer and Bible study of the week! You can receive one credit for this activity. Simply answer the question and e-mail your response to Father Andrew (oandrey-at-aol-dot-com) and Else Tennessen (else10-at-gmail-dot-com).

Prayer

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

O Lord we are grieving the loss of one of our dear members. We read in Your holy Gospel how your brought back to life the son of the widow. This reveals to us that You have power over life and death. You will raise us up to eternal life. Help us, O Lord, to be righteous so our prayers will save the sick and they will be raised on the last day. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Text: James 5:15

And the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, it shall be forgiven him.

Bible Question
What is "the prayer of Faith" and how can we pray this prayer?

To see other answers to this question, check out the St Luke Web site next week!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Symposium for Credit

Earn 3 credits by attending the annual Synergy Symposium!

The Future of Orthodoxy in America

Speakers

Rev. Dr. Stanley S. Harakas, Th.D., D.D. (Hon)
The Future of Orthodoxy in America: Challenges and Required Attitudes and Actions

Rev. Dn. Nicholas Belcher, M.Div.

Raising Orthodox Christians for the Next Generation


Saturday, October 17, 2009
9:00 am - 1:30 pm

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
1220 S. 60th Court, Cicero, IL

Click here for a registration form

Click here for a flyer to share.

Cost:
$35 for individuals until October 9, $40 after
$50 for couples until October 9
$20 for high school and college students
You may register at the door

For more information call (847) 647-8880 or (630) 230-0079

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Podcast Series: Christianity and Judaism

On this week's Come Receive the Light podcast, Fr. Demetrios Tonias will begin the first of a four part series. He'll be discussing Christianity and Judaism in the first four centuries, which is something many of us don't know a great deal about. Also, in a short segment, he will continue discussing the issue of unity of the Orthodox in North America with Rev. Nicholas Apostala, a member of the Study and Planning commission of SCOBA.

Receive 1 credit for each podcast episode you listen to for a total of four credits. Fill out the podcast worksheet for each episode and return to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Listen now.

Project Mexico: Earn Credits!

“We decided to listen to the Holy Spirit instead of the news reports and our hearts told us to come here to minister to the poor.” – Christie Gouletas, group leader from Illinois, PM 2009 trip

Just as Christ sent out the Seventy to minister and spread the Gospel, He also sends us! Project Mexico is a perfect opportunity to go out with love and the Gospel. And, as a School of the 70 student, if you participate in this mission trip, you can earn 50 credits! Read on below.

Project Mexico Summer 2010

Join over 100 other Orthodox adults, young adults, teens from jurisdictions or archdioceses across the US and Canada for a week in Mexico ministering to the poor during 7 days: building new homes (mixing cement, sawing, painting, driving nails, wheelbarrowing, “cheerleading” fellow workers), working and playing, singing, bonding with the boys of an orphanage and the local people, receiving the Eucharist, listening to teaching and inspiration from clergy and BEING the Church through these actions!

When

Week of June 15-22 or Week of July 6-13, 2010

Where

Fly from Chicago to San Diego, CA and take a van into Mexico (approximately one hour trip from the airport) to St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage

Details

  • Fund raise independently and through Church activities to defray your costs
  • Cost per participant, $523 ($100 deposit required by Sunday, September 27)
  • Cost of airfare r/t Chicago – San Diego (approx. $340)
  • Passport ($85-$100, valid for international travel by air, sea or land) or Passport Card ($35/minor & $45/adult, valid for border crossings or sea ports of entry only)
  • Get immunizations! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that ALL travelers be up to date on normal childhood immunizations and recommend typhoid and Hepatitis A for Mexico
  • Gather donations for St. Innocent Orphanage independently and through Church activities
  • Chaperones: 1 adult per 5 youth (ages 14-18) will accompany group. From St Luke's: Maria & Suzanne Kopulos, Fr. Andrew Harrison, Michaelyn Sloan
  • Youth under age 14 need to be accompanied by parent
To learn more or sign up, contact Michaelyn Sloan, ivanoff48(at)yahoo(d0t)com.

Visit the Project Mexico Web site:
www.projectmex.blogspot.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

New School Brochure Available

You can now download a brochure about the School to distribute to friends and family. You can find it at left under the About the School section.

It's a tri-fold brochure designed as a self-mailer, so you can write in an address, stick on a first-class stamp, and pop it in the mailbox!

Go ahead, mail some today! Let everyone know the School is a great way to learn about the Orthodox faith!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NEW! Audio Courses for Credit!


Now you can listen and learn, too!

We've now added audio study courses to the School. You can borrow one of these audio courses, listen to the CDs and complete the written exercises to earn 10 credits.

Some of the courses are:
  • The World of Byzantium
  • Tools of Thinking
  • Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor
  • and more!
To see a complete list of the courses, download the Audio Courses List under the Book Lists header at left.

To borrow a course, contact Else Tennessen at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. You may keep the course for up to two months in order to complete it.

These courses can also be purchased online from The Teaching Company.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy New Church (and School) Year! Time to enroll!

Welcome back, everyone! I hope your summer was blessed.

The School of the Seventy resumes Sunday, September 13. To enroll, send me an email at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. Those who were enrolled last year and re-enroll will receive 5 bonus credits!

(Enrollment is not limited to St Luke members. You can attend "virtually" too by communicating with the School via emails and doing the activities posted. If you have questions, you can email me.)

And you can start earning credits NOW before School begins!

Activity 1: Complete the Instant Bible Study of the week at the St Luke Orthodox Church web site. Earn one credit for this activity by emailing your response to me and to Fr. Andrew.

Activity 2: Attend an "Orthodox Discussion on Ethics" at St. Michael Orthodox Church, 8301 LeClaire St. in Burbank, IL on September 12, 2009 from 2 to 4:30 pm. Professor Perry Hamalis and Professor Gayle Woloschak, two Orthodox ethicists, will be speaking. The discussion will cover moral issues as a lived practice drawing on the Orthodox Church tradition and contemporary resources. Earn 3 credits for this activity. To get your credits, attend the seminar, fill out an event worksheet (see worksheets in left column) and email it to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com (or turn it in at St Luke Church).

Remember, your summer reading worksheets are due September 13. Read three books and receive 10 credits. If you have read one or two books (but not three) from the summer list, please turn in worksheets and you will receive 2 credits for each book you've read.

The new School prize and other items of interest will be posted to this blog as the year progresses.

But now, send me an email and enroll! Look forward to hearing from you all.

Blessings in Christ,
Else

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer's almost over! New school year begins soon...

Summer is winding down, and I hope everyone has had a chance to participate in the summer reading program or has been able to do other Orthodox spiritual reading!

For those racing to finish their three summer reading books, we are extending the deadline to turn in your homework for the three books. The new deadline is SEPTEMBER 13. That gives everyone two more weeks to read. I hope this is helpful.

You can submit your homework to me via email or by putting it in the homework folder on the School of the 70 bulletin board at St Luke's. (Right now the board is a bit naked, but I'll be refreshing it for the new school year soon.)

Some of the summer reading program books are available for purchase through St Luke's online store. So you can still read something for credit if you want to. Check them out. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see 4 of the 5 summer reading books.

Finally, the official start date of the School of the Seventy 2009-2010 school year is September 14, 2009. More information on enrollment and other activities will be sent out in the next few weeks.

Please email me if you have any questions about completing summer reading or about enrolling for the new school year. I look forward to working with everyone!

God bless you in every way!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Reading Books Available from St Luke Online Store!

It's still not too late to do summer reading!

And now, you can purchase 4 of the 5 summer reading books from St Luke's online book store here:
http://stlukeorthodox.com/html/onlinestore/books.cfm

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see them!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Worksheet now available and more

The Summer Reading Worksheet is now available under "Worksheets and Study Guides" in the left column of this blog. Please fill out one worksheet per book and turn them in for credit by September 1.

Other items...

Learn about early Christianity in the British Isles here. Comprehensive, interesting, inspiring!

A new fiction novel from Light and Life Publishing: A Rebel's Journey: A Novel of Doubt and Christian Transformation, by Fr. Alexander Goussetis. This is an intriguing novel about life, freedom, and peace by a Greek Orthodox priest. The main character, growing up in the late 60's and early 70's, struggles toward spiritual maturity, wondering whether the wisdom of his ancestors is still relevant in the contemporary world. Through his experiences, relationships, and life obstacles, he comes full circle and discovers this truth alive in the Orthodox faith. The study guide which follows is ideal not only for personal growth but can be used in a family, group, or ministry setting with young people and adults. The author offers superb insights for today's questioning young adults about the church. Highly recommended.

Hear Metropolitan Jonah speak and celebrate Vespers at St. Joseph Orthodox Church, Wheaton at 7 pm on Saturday, July 25!

Study online for an Orthodox Studies degree at The Orthodox Pastoral School.

Read Christian books online at The Christian Classics Ethereal Library. The mission of the CCEL is to build up the church by making classic Christian writings available and promoting their use. They also offer books on CD, like their Early Church Fathers collection, and downloadable books for Amazon's Kindle electronic reading device.

Do you own an Amazon Kindle electronic reading device? Check out the list of "Books for the Amazon Kindle," at left.

"Online Books," at left, has lots of new links, too. Check them out!

Hope these bits and bytes of information will give you some ideas for reading and studying this summer! Blessings to all!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Deanery Higher Education & Diaconal Vocations Program

Here is a wonderful summer education opportunity to grow in the Orthodox Faith!The class is open to all: educators, catechists, those exploring Diaconal vocation, and anyone eager to learn

Orthodox Spirituality

Saturday Mornings, June 20; July 11, 25; and August 8, 22, 29
10 am - 2 pm
Sts Peter and Paul Orthodox Church
6980 County Line Rd
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
http://stpeterandstpaulorthodoxchurch.org/

Discover the profound Orthodox traditions of the interior life, reflection, meditation and prayer. We will read from the Philokalia, the Ladder, Dionysius the Areopagite, St. Ephrem’s hymns, and more. Class will be taught by Fr. Elijah Mueller of St. Makarios Orthodox Mission in Hyde Park.

Please RSVP by June 17, 2009 to Fr. Elijah, (312) 714-9775, or elijahnmueller(at)sbcglobal(d0t)net. The sooner you RSVP, the sooner we can get into reading assignments.

Cost for class is $400. Checks can be made out to Chicago Deanery, OCA. Bring tuition to the first class or if you want to arrange a schedule of payments, arrange with Fr. Elijah. Financial assistance available, if needed.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's summer reading time!

The School of the 70 2008-2009 term is now over, but the reading goes on!

Yes, it's summer reading program time! Read 3 books, get 10 credits! What a deal!

Everyone is welcome, ages 16 and up. Pick three books from the list below, read them, fill out a worksheet, and you’ll get 10 credits towards next Fall’s School of the Seventy term. Books must be read and worksheet completed by September 1, 2009.

The books to choose from include:
  • Our Father: A Prayer for Christian Living, by Fr. William Mills
  • The Diary of a Russian Priest, by Alexander Elchaninov
  • The Ladder of the Beatitudes, by Jim Forest
  • Royal Monastic: Princess Ileana of Romania, by Bev. Cooke
  • The Kingdom of God: The Sermon on the Mount, by Archbishop Dmitri
For more details on these books, download the flier. The Summer Reading Worksheet can be downloaded at left under "Worksheets and Study Guides."

For more info and to sign up, contact Else Tennessen, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

The worksheet will be available at the end of June, 2009.

The School of the 70 formally resumes after Labor Day for the 2009-2010 term.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Recommended Readings from the OCA

The "Recommended Readings" web page on the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) web site has a list of books they recommend. These look good for seekers and Orthodox, and for anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge of the faith or investigate Orthodoxy. Check them out here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Book Review: The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis

A School of the Seventy student, Staci, recently read the book, The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. Read her inspiring review!

+++++

The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis, is about a man who finds himself on a bus that is going from Hell to Heaven. In the end, it turns out to be a dream (which he does also acknowledge at the beginning of the book), so that the speaker is not really dead. The speaker is told by a spirit at the end that he can tell others about the dream and the choice that people have to go to Heaven or to stay in Hell. Throughout the speaker’s experiences in Heaven (or a sort of pre-Heaven because the ghosts need to make the actual decision to go over the mountains with the spirits) he sees souls who make the decision to return to Hell, and once in a while a person who wants to stay in Heaven. Some of the people he sees are really heartbreaking in their inability to let go of the familiar, even though that familiarity is painful, thus condemning themselves to an eternity in Hell. In the end, the speaker is frightened to die prematurely, which he does not, when he sees the sunrise; he is instead left to write and tell the story of the choice all people have to have a life of goodness and love with God, or a life without that. Read more...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Speaking of Books Podcast

Ancient Faith Radio has a new podcast called "Speaking of Books." This podcast will review Christian books, primarily by Orthodox authors and/or exploring Orthodoxy. Some of the most recent book reviews include:

• Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit, by H. Middleton
• The Road to Emmaus, by Jim Forest
• The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios, by Dionysios Farasiotis
• How to live a Holy Life, by Metropolitan Gregory

Reading any one of these books can qualify for credit in the School.

Check out the podcast; you might something good to read!

P.S. Listening to this podcast does not qualify for credit. You have to read the book recommended to get credit. Contact me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for more information.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Attend this Webinar for credit

From the "Parish Pulse," the newsletter of the OCA Diocese of the Midwest.

+++++

Wednesday May 20, 2009 2:00 PM CDT/3:00 PM EDT

Recent Changes in the American Religious Landscape - Fr. Basil Aden

Our American culture is rapidly changing. To be effective, our mission and ministry needs to comprehend and apply itself to this new landscape.

This webinar will overview the profound changes in American religious affiliation as well as the ever-widening range of religious beliefs that Americans are entertaining. It will give perspectives on parish action in context of the results of three recent surveys:

* the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of 2007.
* the Baylor Institute's 2006 "Survey of American Piety in the 21st Century"
* the Patriarch Athenagoras Institute Survey of Orthodoxy in America conducted in 2007 and 2008.

Father Aden is a priest of the diocese as well as Associate Professor of Philosophy (Religious Studies) at Rock Valley College in Rockford IL where he teaches courses on Religion in America, Introduction to Religion, Sacred Writings (scriptures) of World Religions, and World Religions. His focus is on contemporary issues of religion in America and the world.
More info
Register

+++++

Attend this webinar and earn 3 credits. After listening to the webinar, simply fill out the "Events, Seminars, Workshops" worksheet at left and submit it to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Podcast: Metropolitan Jonah

Ancient Faith Radio has started a new podcast called "Conversations with Metropolitan Jonah." You can read more about it, along with subscription and listening information, here.

Podcasts are a great way to learn about the Orthodox faith! You can listen on your computer or download the podcasts to MP3 players (like an iPod) to take along in your car or to listen to at home or on a walk. They are like mini-lectures and radio broadcasts. It's so encouraging to hear others talk about their faith or to hear the great teachers of Orthodoxy explain the faith. Typically, most podcasts are short--under 30 minutes--an easy-to-listen-to length!

And now, you can earn credit for listening! Each podcast you listen to is worth 1 credit. Simply listen to the podcast, fill out the Podcast Worksheet (downloadable under Worksheets and Study Guides, at left) and return it to me. I'll post your credit when I receive your work.

So please check out this podcast, along with others listed under the Podcasts header at left. You'll be glad that you did! God bless your listening.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Second Certificate Awarded!

The School of the 70 awarded its second certificate this past Sunday, April 26 to Mark, who has earned 52 credits (as of April 12). The certificate was presented to Mark by Father Andrew after the Divine Liturgy. God bless you for your endeavors, Mark!

School Year Coming to a Close

The LAST DAY to turn in credits for the 2008-2009 school year is MAY 24, 2009. NO credits will be accepted after May 24, so save them for next term (Sept 2009-June 2010).

Some of you are VERY close to a 25-credit certificate. I emailed the credit tallies out to each person before Pascha (if you have not earned any credits, you did not get an email). These are still the current numbers. Check and see how close you are. Then work to complete your 25 credits! If you need another tally of your credits, please email me.

Participation certificates, pins and awards will be distributed after Liturgy on May 31, 2009, when other Christian education awards are made.

Everyone who earned at least 1 credit will get a participation certificate and a pin. Those earning no credits will not be recognized. Those earning 25 or more credits will receive the usual 25-credit certificate (if they have not received it yet) and maybe something extra. The person receiving the most credits of all students will be awarded the school prize, the giant Russian ikon of Christ.

The finish line approaches. Ready-set-go! God bless you as you race to your personal goal....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study: The Annunciation

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. See the answers next week on the St. Luke Web site.

Prayer
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy
O Lord we celebrate Your conception, for You took flesh from a pure virgin and became one of us. You became flesh so You could condemn sin so that we who were dead in Adam are now alive in You. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse
Luke 1:30-31 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.

Bible Question
What is theologically significant about the Annunciation?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on the Fear of Death

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. See the answers next week on the St. Luke Web site.

Prayer

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
O Lord, in Your humanity, Your fear of death was revealed as sweat fell like drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. Your obedience to Your father and Your love for us overcame that fear when You said “let it be to me according to Your word.” We have failed to overcome our fear of death, which causes us to sin. We pray that we learn to live in Your Resurrection, overcoming our fear of death so we can be free of sin and attain the life to come. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse
Hebrews 2:14 - 15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Bible Question
How does the fear of death put us under bondage to the devil?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lenten Activities for Credit

Here are some activities to attend. You can earn School credit if you attend an activity and then fill out the Worksheet for Seminars, Talks, and etc. under WORKSHEETS & STUDY GUIDES in the left column of this blog. E-mail the completed worksheet to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com or turn it in to the homework folder on the School bulletin board in St Luke's.

St Luke Women's Retreat
St. Luke Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, IL
March 22, 2009, 12:30 to 3
"When God is Silent"
Speaker: Chris Yadron
3 credits

"The Educating Community: Life of Worship, Fellowship, Service & Witness"
Sts Constantine and Helen Church, Palos Hills, IL
April 4, 2009, 9:30 to 3
Speaker: Dr. Anton Vrame
Fee: $10, register at (708) 974-3400
3 credits

St Luke Family Lenten Retreat
St Luke Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, IL
"Stepping into Missions"
April 5, 2009, immediately after Liturgy
Speakers, Lunch, Workshops
For all ages, sign up at mariakop72(at)yahoo(d0t)com
3 credits

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Orthodox Search Engine

From an e-mail announcement:

We are pleased to announce to you that a new full-text search system covering the whole Orthodox Internet www.Orthodox-Search.com has been launched.

What makes our service unique is the ability of the search engine to index over 7000 Orthodox sites all over the world Orthodox Internet, while the search index is updated daily thanks to the Google CSE technology.

One can submit his search request using the simple search interface, as well as the advanced search form available on the Web page http://www.orthodox-christianity.org/advanced.php. The search results include only the Orthodox websites listed in the Directory www.orthodox-christianity.org. The search results are thereby protected from garbage and exactly match the search request. You can submit your search request on any of the Web pages of the Directory, or, alternatively, you can use the simple search interface at www.Orthodox-Search.com.

Our search service is available in English, Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Greek, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian and many other (over 20) world languages. The search covers only those pages of the Orthodox Internet whose language matches that of the current interface of the search system.

Thanks to Emma for sharing this announcement!

Book Review: The Monastic Magnet

Emma of our School has written a fine review of The Monastic Magnet: Roads to and from Mount Athos edited by Rene Gothoni and Graham Speake. Published in New York by Peter Lang, 2008, 197 pages, ISBN-13: 978-3039113378. Available from Amazon. Read Emma's review, below.

+++

Most of the 11 contributions included in this volume were delivered as lectures in Helsinki in 2006, to open an exhibit on the treasures of Mount Athos. The introduction by the editors summarizes each intervention. The general theme focuses around exchanges between Mount Athos and the rest of the world, through the visits of pilgrims and through what monks offered them in return, on site and through their foundations in the world.

The first part deals with the Athonite monks: Rosemary Morris (Where did the early athonite Monks come from?, p.21-40) identifies 2 periods of settlement of the Mount, with Mount Olympus and Constantinople as platforms for recruitment, Alice-Mary Talbot introduces a few athonite saints, hermits and cenobitics (Holy Men of Mount Athos, p.41-61), and Ismo Pellikka studies the network of Russian monasteries associated with Athos (Monasteries as between Bridges Athos, Russia, and Karelia, p .63-88).

The second part is more about pilgrims, through the testimony of a monk, Father Simeon (Mount Athos: A Center of Pilgrimage, p.91-95) and authors who often travel to the Sacred Mountain. René Gothoni (Pilgrimage as Dialogue, p.97-108) and Marco Toti (Inner Dimension of Pilgrimage to Mount Athos, p.109-121) try to identify the nature of the pilgrimage. Graham Speaker reflects on what attracts pilgrims to the Mount (The Way of a Pilgrim on Mount Athos, p. 123-132); he illustrates his point by the examples of Nikos Kazantzakis and Alexander Golitzin and of very spiritual monks they encountered (Angels of Peace: Encountering the Elders of Mount Athos, p.159-168).

Other examples are provided: a very prolific Russian pilgrim, unfortunately never translated, by Nicholas Fennell (Parfeny Aggeev and Russian Pilgrimage to Mount Athos, p.133-141), and those of 2 British who collaborated with the English edition of the Philokalia, by Kallistos Ware (Two British Pilgrims to the Holy Mountain: Gerald Palmer and Philip Sherrard, p.143-157). This captivating book ends with a hunting article by Nikolas Hatzinikolaou (Mount Athos: The Highest Place on Earth, p.169-189): it relates his experiences on the Mount and his meetings with monks leading extreme ascetic lives at the boundary between heaven and earth.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Books you can read online

A new category of helps has been added to the column at left. Titled ONLINE BOOKS, the links in this list will lead you to free Orthodox reading materials on the Internet. The first link will lead you to the New English Translation of the Septuagint. Thanks to Mark for contibuting this link!

If you know of other full-length Orthodox online books that should be added to this list, please let me know and I will add them. You can contact me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on the Uncreated Light

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. See the answers next week on the St. Luke Web site.

Prayer
Let us Pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
O Lord, we are constantly tempted by our animal passions. They disturb our prayer and cause us to lose attention. Help us to pray with our mind in our heart so we can experience Your Uncreated light and come to know Your love as we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Bible Verse
Mark 2: 3-5 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

Bible Question
Explain how the love of neighbor is revealed in this passage.

Evangelist Newsletter by School of the Seventy!

The Spring 2009 issue of St Luke Church's Evangelist newsletter features articles by School of the Seventy students! A link to this issue is under the heading "By Students" in the column at left.

Included in the issue:
--a personal testimony, by Jeremy
--how the School is a benefit, by Mark
--an article about the Prodigal Son, by Emma
--a review on "One Flew Over the Onion Dome," by Lee
--some Lenten book recommendations, and
--an explanation of how the School works

Five credits were awarded to each student who wrote an article.

You'll enjoy these offerings. Download the issue and start reading! You'll be blessed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on Confession


Prayer

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

O Lord, You gave us the sacrament of confession so we can have an intimate relationship with You. When we admit our sins we come to know how much You love us. During this Lenten season when we make our confession, may the Priest who hears our confession be Your icon so we can see You and hear Your voice when he reads the prayer of absolution. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse
James 5:16
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Bible Question
How does this passage relate to the sacrament of Confession?

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Growing a Parish--Lenten Retreat

 

Attend this nearby retreat for 3 credits!

Growing a Parish: Becoming a Disciple by Making Disciples
Speaker: Fr. David Rucker of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center
Saturday, March 14 at 3 PM
Vespers to follow
Saints Peter & Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church
8410 W. 131st Street, Palos Park, IL
FREE, No registration required
Refreshments will be served

For more information, visit the Sts. Peter & Paul Web site.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Menologion 3.0 and Bible Reading Plans

 

Here are two new resources to help you in your studies. Thank you Mark and Clark, for contributing these!

Menologion 3.0 for Windows is a free computer program which provides an easy way to access the Troparia and Kontakia, Bible Readings and Lives of Saints of the day.

When Menologion starts, it reads the date set in your computer's clock and displays the selected readings for the current date. You can set the program to display dates according to the Old Calendar or the New Calendar. You can select any date and display the Troparia and Kontakia or Bible Readings for that date. It is also possible to browse through the Troparia and Kontakia, Bible Readings and Lives of Saints either forward or backward day by day. And you can search for and find saints by name.

Menologion can also display an Icon next to the text of Troparia and Kontakia or Bible Readings. There are 53 Icons included in the main program, with another 380 Icons available in an optional Supplemental Icon Library, containing at least one saint for every day of the year.

You can download Menologion here.

Thomas Nelson, publisher of The Orthodox Study Bible (OSB), now offers one- and two-year Bible Reading Plans to go with the OSB. You can download them here.

May your studies be blessed!

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on Psalm 137


Prayer
Let us pray to the Lord, Lord have mercy.
O Lord, we are weeping over our sins like the Hebrews who wept by the rivers of Babylon. We remember how much we have departed from Your commandments by our slavery to our passions. We eat too much, we spend too much, we waste too much, we are not examples of Your love. We are greedy, lustful and faithless. We do what we hate. We need to be freed from this life of sin. As we begin this time of repentance, strengthen our resolve to make changes and enter the New Jerusalem which You have prepared for us before the foundation of the world. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse
Ps: 137:1
By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.

Bible Question
What is Zion and what does it have to do with Christianity? See Rev. 18-20.

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on the Last Judgement

Prayer:
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
O Lord the day of judgement is upon us for You are judging us by the way we express our love for those in need. Guard us against false charity which we do to be seen. Help us to become selfless so we can find You in those we help. On that awesome day of judgement may we have a good defense. We pray in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse:
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Bible Question:
Who do you think are the least?

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

First School Certificate Awarded!

 



Mark received his award from the hand of Father Andrew at St Luke Orthodox Church.

On Feb. 22, the School awarded its first certificate for 25 credits earned! This award went to Mark, who actually had completed 28 credits at the time of the award. Congratulations, Mark!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Orthodox Must-Reads

Orrologion.blogspot.com has a list of Orthodox must-read books, along with reviews of the books. This is an interesting blog post with many good reading suggestions! Don't miss it! To get to the list, click here.

You can get credit(s) for reading these books. E-mail me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Thanks to Mark Olson of St. Luke Church for pointing us to this list!

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study: The Prodigal Son

Here is the latest Prayer and Study from Father Andrew. To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response to both Father Andrew, oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself, else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Prayer:
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

O Lord, You have given us an example from both the Old and New Testament of what it means to repent for our sins. The book of Proverbs warns us against the results of riotous living. We as a nation have left our father's house and squandered our inheritance in extravagant living. We all need to repent and return. During this Lenten season may we come to ourselves and thank you for what we have received by being generous to the poor and beginning a new life in our father's house, the Church. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible verse:
Luke 15:21 (NKJV) And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

Bible question:
How did the prodigal son sin against heaven?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reading List for Lent & Pascha

The Lenten Season is a perfect time to read and meditate on the Faith!

Under "Booklists" at left is a new reading list with books appropriate for Lent and Pascha. Credit values are listed with the books. To receive credit after reading, just complete the "General Worksheet for Books" and turn it in at St. Luke Church or e-mail it to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your reading be blessed!

You can also find the booklist here. The list is in Microsoft Word format.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study on the Jesus Prayer

Read Luke 18:10-14.

Prayer:
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Bible Text:
Luke 18:13
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Bible Question:
Explain how the tax collector's prayer was answered.

Please email your answers to oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive 1 credit for this activity!

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Prayer of the Week and Instant Bible Study

Here's this week's prayer and study from Father Andrew:

Prayer:
Let us Pray to the Lord, Lord have Mercy.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the True Light, Who enlightens every man that comes into the world, pour out Your blessing on these candles, and hallow them by the light of Your Grace; and grant, O Merciful One, that as these lights, kindled with a visible flame, scatter the darkness of night, so may our hearts be enlightened by the glowing of the Holy Spirit and avoid the blindness of all manner of sin; so that we may see those things that are pleasing unto You, We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Bible Text:
Luke 2: 27 – 32 And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Bible Question:
Who was the man who took Jesus in his arms and how does his prayer related to blessing candles?

To receive 1 credit for this activity, e-mail your response both to Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Evangelist Newsletter wants you!

UPDATE 4/28/2009: You can write for The Evangelist at any time and receive 5 credits for each article that is accepted and published. Read below for past Evangelist writings by our students; all the ideas still apply! Contact me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com if you have questions.

+++++

The Evangelist is St Luke's church newsletter. It comes out quarterly and is a compendium of articles and information about Orthodoxy and our church family.

We've been asked to create most of the content for the next issue!

This means that you, dear student, are tasked with writing an article about the School. Some article ideas include:

--Reviews of books you have read for credit
--Articles about activities you've attended as part of the School, like the CS Lewis play or the suicide seminar
--Stories or poems based on a book you read or an activity you participated in
--Articles on how participating in the School has changed you in some way

I need at least 4 students from the School to submit an article for publication. If you do, you will receive 5 credits!

For more information, please contact me privately at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Follow the School on Twitter!

You can now follow the School of the Seventy on Twitter!

Twitter is a social Internet tool that allows you to tell people "what you are doing right now." You can also "follow" other folks on Twitter and find out what they are doing.

I'll be using Twitter to attract new students to the School and to announce all our "happenin's and doin's" including School activities, books to read, and other information.

To check out Twitter, go to www.twitter.com.

To see the School's Twitter feed, go to www.twitter.com/OrthodoxSchool.

Twitter is free and fun. Sign up today!

Conciliar Press Annual Winter Sale--Bonus School Credits During Lent

Conciliar Press is having its Annual Winter Sale NOW with generous discounts on books, Bibles and their famous Icon Calendar.

Now is the time to stock up on books to read during Lent. Spiritual reading and learning should be part of our Orthodox life. Lent is a perfect time to begin doing this and making it a regular habit. You will be blessed!

CREDIT BONUS DURING LENT!

For every book that you read and complete during the Lenten Fast period (March 2 to April 18) you will receive DOUBLE CREDITS!

This "double credit" applies only to books read, not to other school activities.

So check out the reading lists at left and order your books now so that they arrive in time for the Lenten fast.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Credit Activity: Read the Scriptures!

To encourage you to read your Bibles this year, you can now receive credit for reading the Scriptures. Here's how the program will work:

--Choose a book from the Old or New Testaments

--Read the entire book, keeping in mind the guidelines in "How to Read The Bible" by Metropolitan KALLISTOS. This essay is available online and is also printed in the Orthodox Study Bible.

--Download the appropriate worksheet from the Worksheet & Study Guides section, at left. There is a worksheet for the Old Testament, and one for the New Testament

--Turn in the worksheet to the homework folder on the bulletin board, or email it to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com

You will receive 1 credit for each book of the Bible you read and complete homework for. All books will receive 1 credit each, no matter what their length or difficulty. It evens out at the end as some books are very short (Jude) and some are very long (Psalms).

You could easily accumulate more than 50 credits using this reading plan, and your life will be enriched by reading God's love letter to you. Go for it!

New Credit Activity: Prayer of the Week Instant Bible Study

Every week or so, Father Andrew posts his "instant" Bible Study with Prayer of the week here and here.

Father has asked that we participate in this activity, submitting our answers to him for anonymous posting on the St. Luke Web site.

Each Bible study should only take about 10-15 minutes to complete. You can earn 1 credit for each answer you submit to Father Andrew via email. Simply copy me on the email so I can give you your credit.

Here is the first Bible Study for you to get started. If you have any questions or need assistance, please see me.

++++++
Prayer of the Week and Bible Study: On the Sanctity of Life

Prayer:

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

O Christ our God, You are the One Who both gives and wills the protection of all life. By word and by deed, You have taught us to treat all life as sacred, with the utmost care and compassion for every human being, of every race, nation and faith, of every walk and way of life, those born and unborn alike. Seeking to fulfill this teaching as Your followers, we turn to You in fervent prayer on this "Sanctity of Life Sunday." O God, Who knows each of us from our mother's womb, protect the fragile lives of our unborn little brothers and sisters, granting blessed repose to those whose tiny lives were terminated, as well as repentance and forgiveness to those who have participated in their termination. We pray in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit Amen.

Bible Verse:

Luke 1:39 -- Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

Bible question:

What happened when Mary visited Elizabeth? What is the key word that supports the biblical teaching that life begins a conception?

++++++

Please send your answers to Father Andrew at oandrey(at)aol(dot)com and copy me at else10(at)gmail(dot)com.

Every week, I will be posting the prayer of the week and Bible study as Father sends them out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

OCABS

OCABS is the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies. What a wealth of information can be found there!

They state on their site:

"As Fr. John Breck points out in his book, Scripture in Tradition, historically, the Orthodox tradition has possessed a wealth of biblical resources in the form of biblical homilies. Yet where is one to find such resources today? Our early church fathers, who dedicated their whole lives to the study, teaching, and preaching of Scripture, would be scandalized by the contemporary lack of interest in Biblical Studies!

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies was established to educate, inspire and challenge the faithful to recognize the centrality of sound biblical interpretation for life in Christ. The last 50 years have seen a wonderful renewal in the areas of liturgy, music, iconography, patristics, and monasticism. OCABS is part of a growing community of faithful in the Orthodox Church who are embracing the same renewal in the development of serious Scriptural studies and preaching."

Enhance your study of the Orthodox faith by visiting this awesome site!

The Kingdom of God - Book Review by Mark Bach

“THE KINGDOM OF GOD: The Sermon on the Mount” by Archbishop Dmitri Royster

In this book, the author presents and an easy-to-read analysis of the Sermon on the Mount as told in the Gospel of Matthew. The analysis includes insights on how everyday life issues are dealt with by Jesus in the Sermon. The analysis comprises many citations to other texts, thereby providing outlets for reflection from numerous perspectives.

The book begins with an exploration of the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven, progresses through the Beatitudes and culminates with a line-by-line analysis of the Lord’s Prayer. Discussion begins with the statement that God is love. Once one has love, one can progress through each of the Beatitudes in serial fashion as one continues from the other. A complete picture is given of the Kingdom of God and a path for achieving union with God.

Two themes seem to be reiterated throughout the book. First, God is love. Second, forgiveness is a key consequence of love. If one truly loves, one cannot help but forgive. The opposite is also true. If one does not truly love, one cannot truly forgive.