Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ancient Christian Texts to Accompany "Formation & Struggles"


 If you've been following along with our study in the book Formation & Struggles, you'll have noticed that as we progress in the book, various ancient Christian texts are cited. Here are links to these works so that you can read them online or print them out for your library!

These are also listed in the Online Books/ebooks tab on this site.

    Keeping the Spirit of Nativity: Podcasts for Credit


    Continue in the spirit of Nativity with these podcasts, listed below. You can receive one credit for listening to any of the podcasts below, filling out the podcast worksheet (under Lessons/Homework tab) and sending it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. Be blessed!

    On Theologically Thinking, Fr. William Chiganos of the Holy Apostles Church in Westchester Il speaks to us about the beauty of God’s creation and our search for identity during this Christmas Season.

    On Special Moments in Orthodoxy, join us for a Vaulted CRTL when Fr. Christopher speaks with Bishop Basil of The Antiochian Archdiocese about the topic “Cave to Cave” - The History and the importance of the Liturgy. 

    On Just Thinking, Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas Emeritus Professor of Liturgics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary in Brookline, Mass. describes the important feast of the Nativity.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Podcast and TV show, both for credit!

    Sinai Wilderness

    Podcast: The Great Schism
    Most of us know what the Great Schism is, but do we understand what led to it? Fr. Andrew Louth gives some insight into the historic division of the East and West. Plus, how many of the toys wrapped for your teens are electronic devices? Dr. Ary Christofidis explores the topic of teens and technology with us this week to look at the potential pitfalls. Listen now.

    Documentary: Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
    Travel with us to discover the ancient ways of the early Christians, and experience Jesus Christ like never before. Learn the ancient, mystical prayer used for centuries, first by Christian hermits and cave dwellers. Let the Jesus Prayer fill you with the presence of God and all of His grace. Never before has there been this kind of access to ancient caves, monasteries and convents in Egypt, Greece, Eastern Europe and Russia. Meet living Christian monks and nuns who have left the world behind, seeking the peace and salvation of eternity. For the first time, they speak of their private prayers of the heart on film. Now available on Comcast and Fios Video-on Demand. For more information, visit the documentary website.

    You can receive credit for these activities. Receive one credit for each. Listen/watch the podcast/show, fill out the podcast worksheet (use the podcast worksheet for a show until I create a show worksheet), and submit it to else10@gmail(d0t)com.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    More Lessons for Formation and Struggles


    Lessons for chapters 7, 8 and 9 of Formation and Struggles are now available!


    The illustration, above, mentions one topic in these three great chapters, that read more like an exciting war story than anything else. The early saints fought to establish God's church, of which we all partake and have as a heritage. Wonderful stuff.

    To receive credit for these chapters, please complete the homework and send a copy to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    An Amazing Treasury for All

    Soon to be released is The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, over 1000 pages of facts and history on Eastern Orthodox Christianity, edited by John Anthony McGuckin. This is an amazing treasury that all Orthodox (and Orthodox churches) should add to their libraries. Here in one compendium is an excellent resource for students and laypersons. The encyclopedia:
    • Is an outstanding reference work providing the first English language multi-volume account of the key historical, liturgical, doctrinal features of Eastern Orthodoxy, including the Non-Chalcedonian churches
    • Explores of the major traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy in detail, including the Armenian, Byzantine, Coptic, Ethiopic, Slavic, Romanian, Syriac churches
    • Is edited by one of the leading scholars in the field and provides authoritative but accessible articles by a range of top international academics and Orthodox figures and is uniquely comprehensive
    • Spans the period from Late Antiquity to the present, encompassing subjects including history, theology, liturgy, monasticism, sacramentology, canon law, philosophy, folk culture, architecture, archaeology, martyrology, hagiography, all alongside a large and generously detailed prosopography
    • Is structured alphabetically and topically cross-indexed, with entries ranging from 100 to 6,000 words
    You can hear more about the development of this amazing work by listening to the podcast about the encyclopedia on Come Receive the Light. Listen now.

    The encyclopedia is now available for preorder on Amazon. You can also learn more about the encyclopedia and order it from the publisher, Wiley.

    Put these books on your holiday gift lists!

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Lesson for Chapter 6 of "Formation and Struggles"

    Oldest icon of St Paul. Read about it here.

    The lesson sheet for chapter 6 of the "Formation and Struggles" book is now available for download. It is also available from the Lessons/Homework tab.

    Chapter 6 is called "The Apostle Paul's Mission to the Diaspora." This is a very informative look at St Paul's work among Jews of the Dispersion at the time of Jesus. The lesson will help guide your reading!

    To receive credit for this chapter, please complete the homework and send a copy to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Early Church History Links


    In order to help you in your study of ancient Christian church history, I've added some early church links to the Links page. These include:
    I hope these will be helpful! If you know of any other ancient history links that you think should be added to this list, please send them to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. May your learning be blessed!

    Addendum to Lesson 2, "Formation and Struggles," available

    Jesus appears to Saul.

    As an addendum to Lesson 2, Lee has prepared a compact, 2-page account of history during the times of the formation of the early church. It is a helpful guide outlining the kingdoms and sovereigns in power at the time, and a helpful background to the study of "Formation and Struggles." Download the addendum in PDF format »

    You can earn credit for reading this book with us. Read this post to learn more about this opportunity.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Lesson 2 of "Formation of the Early Church" Now Available

     You can now download a PDF of Lesson 2 for the book, "Formation and Struggles: The Birth of the Church, AD 33-200." Lesson 2 covers Chapter 4 and 5. For more information about this book and study, read this post.

    Simply purchase the book (available from SVSPress or Amazon), download and complete the lessons (also available from the Lessons/Homework tab of this website), and then e-mail your work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. You will receive 1 credit for each CHAPTER completed (some homeworks will cover more than one chapter).

    (The icon at left shows Peter and Paul holding the Church between them. Very appropriate for this book!)

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Read Along With Us! Book Study: Formation and Struggles - The Birth of the Church

    In the St Luke Church adult education class, we are studying the book, "Formation and Struggles: The Birth of the Church, AD 33-200," under the leadership of teacher Lee Kopulos. Even if you don't attend St Luke, or cannot come to the weekly Wednesday night class, you can study along with us. We covered Chapter 2 this week.

    Simply purchase the book (available from SVSPress or Amazon), download and complete the lessons (from the Lessons and Homework tab of this website), and then e-mail your work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. You will receive 1 credit for each CHAPTER completed (some homeworks will cover more than one chapter).

    Questions? E-mail Else at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    Ancient church history is AMAZING! Don't miss this valuable book and study.

    Homily on St Luke and more


    The LOGISMOI blog has a wonderful homily on St Luke here. Writer Aaron Taylor wrote this especially for St Luke's feast day. The homily is a combination of facts and history about Luke, as well as commentary on two passages: 2 Timothy 4:5-14 and St Luke 10:1-7.

    Taylor especially explains and expounds on the passage from St Luke 10, which just also happens to be the sending out of the Seventy! Tradition holds that St Luke was one of these. And of course the Seventy are relevant because of our School.

    Don't miss this thoughtful and educational homily. You can receive 1 credit for reading it and answering the following questions below. Send your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

    Homily Study Questions
    1. Explain why Luke is called "a Renaissance man."
    2. Read St Luke 10:1-7. What parts of the "sending out" would be difficult for you? How can we apply Jesus' commands for going out and witnessing (as stated in the passage) in today's modern world?
    3. Why would Luke be considered "Paul's best friend"?
    More Credit Activities
    • Read the Gospel of Luke. Fill out the Scripture worksheet found under the "Lessons and Homework" tab and submit it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for 1 credit.
    • Read the Book of Acts. Fill out the Scripture worksheet found under the "Lessons and Homework" tab and submit it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for 1 credit.
    • Read a novelization of St Luke's life and write a book review of it in your own words. One recommended novel is Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell. Submit your review to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for 2 credits.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Website Updates!

    It's always good to do a little housecleaning, even on websites. Our website is now organized into pages so it's easier for you to find things without scrolling too much.

    The tabs under the title of this site will take you to individual pages that list all the content we used to have in the right and left columns. By clicking on each tab, here's what you'll find:
    • "Home" will always take you to the front page of this website.
    • "Book Lists" will take you to a page where you can find books you can read for credits.
    • "Credit Activities" will take you to a page where you can find other things you can do for school credits. The podcasts are listed on this page, for example.
    • "Online Books/eBooks" will take you to a page where you can find Orthodox books to read online or download to your own computer. You'll also find a list of eBooks for the Amazon Kindle.
    • "By Students" will take you to a page where we highlight student essays and book reviews that have been especially meaningful.
    • "Bookstores" takes you to a list of online stores where you can purchase Orthodox books.
    • "Links" take you to a page listing other Orthodox weblinks of relevancy to the School, as well as a growing list of contemporary Orthodox authors.
    We hope this organization will be helpful. However, if you don't find what you need, please send an e-mail to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com and the School Director will assist you.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    British Library posts Greek Manuscripts to the Web


    This is wonderful! From Mystagogy, the blog of John Sanidopoulos:

    One of the world's most important caches of Greek manuscripts is going online, part of a growing number of ancient documents to hit the Web in recent years.

    The British Library said Monday that it was making more than a quarter of its 1,000 volume-strong collection of handwritten Greek texts available online free of charge, something curators there hope will be a boon to historians, biblical scholars and students of classical Greece alike.

    Although the manuscripts — highlights of which include a famous collection of Aesopic fables discovered on Mount Athos in 1842 — have long been available to scholars who made the trip to the British Library's reading rooms, curator Scot McKendrick said their posting to the web was opening antiquity to the entire world. Read the complete article here.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Books for sale!

    School student Emma has set up an Amazon storefront and she has Orthodox books for sale, too! View her shop on Amazon.

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Book Review: Hidden and Triumphant


    "The Holy Gaze":
    Hidden and Triumphant: The Underground Struggle to Save Russian Iconography
    Book Review by Frederica Mathewes-Green

    Among the illustrations in this volume there is an AP news photo from the Russian district of Bogorodsk, dated 1950, of a crowd of people carrying icons out of a church. This isn’t a religious procession; instead, they are handing the paintings up to a man standing in a farm cart. Though it is cold—you can tell from the bundling garments and fleece-lined caps—the crowd looks energetic and happy, and a pretty young woman at the center of the photo looks particularly joyous. In the foreground a boy is holding a small icon, perhaps of Christ. The cart is already overflowing with these paintings of saints and biblical figures on wooden plaques. The load is going to be hauled out of town and burned.

    Read the complete review here.

    Buy the book at Paraclete Press or Amazon.

    You can earn two credits for reading this book. After reading the book, fill out the book homework sheet, and submit to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. Enjoy!

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Prayer of the Week - Mark 6:25-26

    Prayer of the Week on the Beheading of John the Baptist

    Once again, you can earn one credit by reading the prayer of the week and answering a question. Submit your answer to both Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive the credit!

    Prayer:
    Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
    O Lord today we remember the sacrifice of Your cousin John the Baptist. His devotion to You prepared Your way. He was the voice crying in the wilderness making Your way straight. On the day of Your return we pray that we too may be resurrected with him. May we be Your messengers and prepare others for Your coming. For You will that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Bible Text: Mark 6:25 - 26
    Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.

    Bible Question:
    What was Herod's oath and why did he make it?

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    From Our Students: Lee reviews "From Baptist to Byzantium"


    Lee has contributed this fine book review on "From Baptist to Byzantium." This is a great book for seekers or anyone who enjoys stories of how others found the Orthodox Faith. Thank you, Lee!

    +++++

    From Baptist to Byzantium: How a Baptist Missionary Traveled Halfway Around the World to Find the Ancient Orthodox Faith
    By Father James Early
    Regina Orthodox Press

    I never thought I would be writing this Book Review on Fr. James and his road to Orthodoxy. I can tell you that after this meeting with him his unusual response stuck to me to this day.What a way to come to the Faith! However, his story is far more than just that entry into the local Orthodox Church and this fine book greatly enhances my Sunday conversation with him. He has a wonderful, moving story to tell and I am thankful that the Lord has motivated him in telling it. While the book mirrors Fr. Peter Gillquist’s brilliant book, Becoming Orthodox it is different in that it is a testimony of one man (wife too) and his struggle to follow God’s will and seek the truth.As one of my great friends and a founding member of St. Luke Parish, Pat Dravillas, said many years ago, “Religion is about the truth, Lee.” This is a great story about finding the Holy Orthodox Faith while in foreign mission work.If you are a member of The Faith, I am sure this book will reaffirm your conviction in its truth.For those seeking the truth, this book will give you all you need to get started on the road.

    Read Lee's complete review now.

    You, too, can read this book and earn 2 credits! To do so, complete the general homework form for books and submit it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. May your reading be blessed!

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Podcasts and Book Sale


    Book Sale!
    Conciliar Press is having a sale on Bible study books, including:
    I have used guides and books from both these authors and can attest to their helpfulness and thoroughness. Fr. Farley's books are great for someone who wants an easy-to-read and overall understanding of Scripture. Fr. Reardon's books are deeper and contain thoughtful commentary on Biblical messages. You can receive credit for using these materials; e-mail me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for more info on this.

    Podcasts
    And here are a few more podcasts for credit. Listen to a podcast and receive one credit when you submit a completed podcast homework form to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    On Come Receive the Light, Dr. Dean Stamatis is back on the show to answer some questions for us about church architecture. Plus, we'll be speaking for the first time with Fr. Gregory Hallam this week, an Antiochian Orthodox priest from Manchester, UK. He's with us to talk about St. John the Baptist in honor of his upcoming feastday on August 29th, and also to tell us about the Orthodox Fellowship of St. John the Baptist. Listen now.

    On Special Moments in Orthodoxy, Dr. Philip Mamalakis of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, asks the question "'Orthodox Psychology' or 'Orthodox and Psychology'?" Listen to Part 1. Listen to Part 2.

    Prayer of the Week on 1 Cor. 16:20-22


    Once again, you can earn one credit by reading the prayer of the week and answering a question. Submit your answer to both Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive the credit!

    Prayer:
    Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have Mercy.
    O Lord, Your Apostle directed us to love each other so we can love You. If we do not love You we are cursed and cannot express our mutual love. We pray our kiss of peace be for us a true sign that we love You, for we find You in our neighbor. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Bible Text : 1 Cor. 6:20-22
    ....
    Greet one another with a holy kiss. The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s. If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!

    Bible Question: What do you think St. Paul means when he says those who do not love Christ are to be accursed

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    More Podcasts and an OPF Conference


    Orthodox Peace Fellowship (OPF) Conference

    The Annual North American Conference of OPF will take place in Irvine, CA, October 1 through 3, 2010. The unifying theme is “Interfaith Dialogue.” Speakers will come from the Orthodox tradition, as well as Jewish, Muslim, and others. The program will be a mix of talks and discussions, music, comedy, award-winning films and one-on-one conversation. Though differences exist and need to be acknowledged, we can learn from one another and create a more peaceful world in the process. Non-members are welcome — this conference is not to be missed! Download the flyer. Visit the website. The icon of Sts Peter and Paul, above, is a scriptural example of dialog!

    You can receive three credits for attending this conference.
    Simply attend, complete the Event Worksheet, and e-mail it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

    More Podcasts for Credit

    In this week's episode of Theologically Thinking, Fr. William Chiganos speaks about The Dormition of the Virgin Mary, Her Bodily and Spiritual Ascension. Listen now.

    This week on Special Moments in Orthodoxy, Dr. Philip Mamalakis of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, continues his series and asks the question "'Orthodox Psychology' or 'Orthodox and Psychology'?" Listen now.

    You can receive one credit each for listening to these podcasts. Simply listen, complete the Podcast Worksheet, and e-mail it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit. May your listening be blessed!

    Prayer of the Week on Luke 11:27-28


    On the Dormition of the Theotokos

    Once again, you can earn one credit by reading the prayer of the week and answering a question. Submit your answer to both Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive the credit!

    Prayer:
    Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
    O Lord, today we honor and praised the falling asleep of your mother and our spiritual mother. May she be an example to us of humility and evangelistic zeal. Her body became a living temple from which You shined and brought salvation to all. As she continually prays for us may we learn to be humble and pray for the salvation of all. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Bible Text: Luke 11:27-28
    And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
    But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    Bible Question:
    Why do you think this verse was selected by the Orthodox Church to celebrate Mary's passing?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Enrollment is Now Open; Summer Reading Update


    Starting today, you can enroll (or re-enroll) for the new year of the School of the 70. The year runs from September 1, 2010 to June 1, 2011. Join us for nine months of learning about the Orthodox faith through reading, podcasts, biblical study, and much more!

    Enrollment is FREE and open to all adults, including mature young adults who can handle the material. Your studies will earn you credits eligible for prizes at the end of the year.

    Learn more about the School »
    Invite a friend! Download School brochure »
    Enroll now »

    Summer Reading Program Update

    The Summer Reading Program is coming to an end! All book reports are by August 31, 5 pm Central time. Remember, you'll receive 10 credits for reading three books (or two credits for each book if you don't read three). If you haven't read a book, it's not too late; check the summer reading list and start one today.

    Download the summer reading list »
    Download the book report form »

    One of the books I read this summer was "The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life" by Jim Forest. This was a game-changing book for me. Jim encourages us to see all of life as a journey to the Kingdom and to see every day as an opportunity to serve others and to grow into Christlikeness. In the book, he discusses our actions along the way (prayer, fasting, almsgiving), spiritual "places" like cathedrals and geographical locales, and different sorts of journeys when one doesn't travel (like his own pilgrimage of illness--I highly recommend this chapter for all those who deal with chronic illness). The book contains many photos that go along with the text. I found this an easy and enchanting read; it was hard to put down!

    Thanks to Jim Forest for the Emmaus icon photo at the top of this post!

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Prayer of the Week: Revelation 8:4


    Once again, you can earn one credit by reading the prayer of the week and answering a question. Submit your answer to both Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive the credit!


    Prayer:

    O righteous Father Jacob, Adornment of Atka and the Yukon Delta, You offered yourself as a living sacrifice To bring light to a searching people. Offspring of Russian America, Flower of brotherly unity, Healer of sickness and terror of demons: O Holy Father Jacob, Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. Amen.


    Read about the life of St Jacob »


    Bible text: Revelation 8:4

    And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.


    Bible question:

    What is the role of incense in heavenly worship?



    Many thanks to Father Andrew Harrison of St Luke Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, Illinois, for providing this Bible study!

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Prayer of the Week on 1 Corinthians 3:9-17

    Once again, you can earn one credit by reading the prayer of the week and answering a question. Submit your answer to both Father Andrew at oandrey(at)stlukeorthodox(d0t)com and myself at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com to receive the credit!

    Prayer: Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have Mercy.
    O Lord, You are calling us to do works that build up the church within us. Help us to discern works that are gold and silver rather than hay and straw. May the works we do be refined by the trials of life and not be burned up. We pray our faith will become stronger so we can receive salvation and a reward as good and faithful servants. We pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Bible Text: 1 Cor. 3:12-13
    Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

    Question
    When St. Paul says "this foundation" what is he referring to?

    Many thanks to Father Andrew Harrison of St Luke Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, Illinois, for providing this Bible study!

    Fall Classes at the Classical Learning Resource Center

    Just in from the CLRC:

    Anne Van Fossen, one of the founders of the CLRC and current instructor of Greek and Latin, was interviewed this week by the Orthodox Christian Network on their radio program “Come Receive the Light." To listen to the interview visit http://www.myocn.net/ and scroll down to “Classical Learning." Also listen in to a conversation between Anne Van Fossen and Matthew Gallatin, a co-founder of the Classical Learning Resource Center and author of the popular book Searching for God in a Land of Shallow Wells. Matthew currently offers “God and the Philosophers” and “Critical Thinking” through the CLRC. Their conversation, about Christian education and the CLRC, can be found at http://ancientfaith.com/. Click on “The Classical Learning Resource Center” under “Recent Podcast Episodes."

    The Classical Learning Resource Center offers real-time online classes for middle school and high school students and adults throughout the United States and Canada and overseas. We are eagerly anticipating the beginning of classes the week of August 30th.

    CLRC offers the following classes for Academic Year 2010-2011:

    Latin: Latin I, Latin II, Intermediate Latin Reading Group

    Greek (Classical): Greek I, Greek II

    Literature: Homer and Greek Mythology

    Philosophy: God and the Philosophers

    Logic and Critical Thinking: Critical Thinking I

    For those who are considering enrollment in the fall semester, we ask that you fill out the online enrollment form by August 15. Visit the CLRC online.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Classical Learning Resource Center


    This week on OCN's Come Receive the Light podcast:

    Tune in to hear Emmy Louvaris speak with Anne Van Fossen of the Classical Learning Resource Center - an online resource center for teachers and homeschoolers dedicated to Christian education through Classical Learning. Listen now »

    From the Center's website:
    "A classical education not only prepares students for the practical responsibilities of life, but also opens the door to a deeper understanding of humanity and faith.

    At the Classical Learning Resource Center, we share a vision for education as an act of love rooted deeply in the relationship between teacher and students and students with their peers. We are convinced that education is a process of opening closed doors of the mind and heart to 'lead students out' to illumination. Central to this process is to surround students with images of virtue, nobility, honor, purity, sacrifice, loyalty, and beauty. We all pray and work to do this by example and as teachers we also seek to do this through the literature, poetry, art, music, science, and theology that we study with our students."


    View the Classical Learning Resource Center website.

    This sounds like something that adult students can also enjoy, especially students of the School of the 70. Our Orthodox faith is one rooted in history and tradition, and today's world can often be better understood when we realize where we've come from intellectually and otherwise. I encourage you to check out this site!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Podcast on the Feeding of the 5,000


    This week on Theologically Thinking, Fr. William Chiganos speaks to us about the Feeding of the 5000 and two stories told in the book of Matthew.

    Theologically Thinking is a podcast from the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). The OCN is a wonderful source of Orthodox teaching and material.

    Listen now!

    You can receive one credit for listening to this podcast! Simply listen, complete the Podcast Worksheet, and e-mail it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit. May your listening be blessed!

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    The Hexameron by St Basil the Great

    The Hexameron by Basil the Great (329-379)
    The Hexameron is the title of nine homilies delivered by St. Basil on the cosmogony of the opening chapters of Genesis.... They are Lenten sermons, delivered at both the morning and evening services, and appear to have been listened to by working men. Some words in Homily 8 have confirmed the opinion that they were preached extempore, in accordance with what is believed to have been Basil's ordinary practice.... In earlier ages, it was the most celebrated and admired of Basil's works. ... "Whenever I take his Hexameron in hand," says Gregory of Nazianzus, "and quote its words, I am brought face to face with my Creator: I begin to understand the method of creation: I feel more awe than ever I did before, when I only looked at God's work with my eyes."

    — from the Editor's Introduction

    Read this classic online at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).
    Read more works by this author at the CCEL.

    Receive 2 credits when you read this work and submit a completed General Worksheet for books to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. May your reading be blessed!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Oldest illustrated Bible discovered in Ethiopia



    The world's earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery.

    The incredible Garima Gospels are named after a monk who arrived in the African country in the fifth century and is said to have copied them out in just one day.

    Beautifully illustrated, the colours are still vivid and thanks to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund have been conserved.

    Read more!

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Continue to Earn Credits! And New Podcasts!

    Don't want to stop learning?

    There are two ways to earn credits this summer.

    1) You can participate in our summer reading program, which earns you credits NOW.

    2) You can do ANY OTHER credit activity with credits awarded September 1. That is, credits earned will be awarded to you during the next school term (in this case, September 2010-June 2011) and only if you enroll for the September-June term.

    So, what are you waiting for? Here are some exciting podcasts to listen to and get you started.

    The Head that Bows. On Theologically Thinking, enjoy a reading of one of Fr. Stanley Harakas' essays originally written for the National Herald entitled "The Head that Bows." Listen now.

    How to be Culturally Savvy. On Special Moments in Orthodoxy, Khouria Maggie Hauck will discuss how to be culturally savvy as an Orthodox Christian. Listen now.

    Discussing the Holy Apostles. On Just Thinking, join Fr. Chris and Fr. Alkiviades Calivas as they discuss the Holy Apostles. Listen now.

    Receive one credit for each podcast you listen to. Listen, fill out the podcast worksheet, and email it back to Else10 (at) gmail (dOT) com. Your credit will be awarded September 1.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    "Whys and Whats of the Church" Podcast

    This week on Theologically Thinking, enjoy a reading of one of Fr. Stanley Harakas' essays originally written for the National Herald entitled "The “Whats and Whys” of our Church." Today we learn about Litanies. What is the most frequently repeated phrase in the Divine Liturgy? Answer: "Lord, have mercy". What is the next most frequently repeated phrase? Answer: "Grant this, O Lord".What do these two phrases have in common? They are both responses to sets of petitions that make up the "Litanies."

    Listen here.

    You can receive summer credit for listening to this podcast and filling out the podcast worksheet. E-mail your finished work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com and receive 1 credit. Download the podcast worksheet.

    "LOST" Podcast -- An Orthodox Perspective

    Here's an Orthodox podcast of interest for all those who follow the TV series "LOST."

    This week on Just Thinking, join Fr. Chris and Terry Mattingly as they discuss the final episode of television phenomenon “LOST”.

    Listen here.

    You can receive summer credit for listening to this podcast and filling out the podcast worksheet. E-mail your finished work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com and receive 1 credit. Download the podcast worksheet.

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    2010 Summer Reading Program starts NOW!

    The summer reading program begins tomorrow, June 6! Read three of the four books below and you can earn 10 credits applied to next year's (2010-2011) School of the 70.

    The program runs June 6 to August 31, 2010. Fill out the General Books Worksheet for each book. All homework is due no later than 5 pm CST August 31. No late homework will be accepted. Questions? E-mail Else Tennessen at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    Featured books this summer:

    An Extraordinary Peace: St Seraphim, Flame of Sarov
    By Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
    Order from Anaphora Press.
    This is the definitive biography in English of one of the most famous and best-loved saints of the Orthodox Church. From firsthand accounts of miracles, to deep discussions of spiritual practices and theology, this very detailed account of St Seraphim is a must-read.

    The Lenten Spring
    By Father Thomas Hopko
    Order from Amazon.
    It's never too early to reflect on or prepare for Lent. Here are 40 meditations on Lent, incorporating scriptural and liturgical passages, spiritual wisdom of the ancient saints and fathers, and modern guides to the Christian life.

    The Road to Emmaus
    By Jim Forest
    Order from Amazon.
    This book assists you to see your life as an opportunity for spiritual pilgrimage. Draws on the wisdom of the saints and Jim's own wide-ranging travels. See that being a pilgrim can be as simple as living day by day in a God-attentive way.

    Courage to Pray
    By Father Anthony Bloom
    Order from St Vladimir Press.
    The discovery of prayer, of man's relationship with God and the world, of faith and love, is what gives human beings hope and courage to pray. This little book points to that discovery as a guide for those who wish to end their isolation and enter into communion with God.

    Download the Summer Reading Flyer (pdf).
    Download the General Worksheet for Books (doc).

    2009-2010 School Year Award Winners

    The results are in, and here they are:

    First place: Luba J., with 24 credits
    Second place: Staci S., with 23 credits
    Third place: a TIE! Jeff H. and William V. with 10 credits each

    Prizes will go in the mail soon.

    Thanks to all who participated in this school term.

    The next term will begin September 1.

    There is also a summer reading program. More on this later today.

    God bless you as you learn and grow spiritually. May Christ be with you all this summer!

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    School Year ends June1 - Report your credits now!

    The 2009-2010 will end on June 1.

    Please send me all your unreported credits by midnight, June 1 via email (else10-at-gmail-dot-com). I will tally the credits and announce the school prizes via e-mail later that week.

    The school prizes this year are as follows:
    1st Prize (most credits earned) - large Russian icon
    2nd Prize (second highest amount of credits) - Hand made icon of Jesus Christ
    3rd Prize (third highest amount of credits) - CS Lewis Journal (blank pages with CS Lewis quotes and faux leather cover)

    The School will also have an informal summer program running from June 1 to September 1. Read three books, receive 10 credits. The list of summer reading books will be posted soon.

    It's been a pleasure serving you this school year! I look forward to receiving your last credits for tallying.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Purpose Driven Orthodox Life - 2 credits

    With the popularity of the protestant The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, now comes an Orthodox version:

    Turnaround is a practical, hands-on strategy for spiritual growth which sets out a one month journey that is balanced theologically and historically within the context of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. This isn't simply an information book. This is a roadmap -- the daily stopping points have been used for many centuries -- which will guide you into four essential areas that will impact your spiritual development:

    1. Focusing on God
    2. Understanding Myself
    3. Building With Spiritual Disciplines
    4. Ministry In Motion

    "Turnaround is truly refreshing in that it allows all Christian believers to apply the teachings of the Orthodox Church to their daily lives. It takes us back to the Apostolic days, reflecting on how the followers of Christ lived.This book is a must for those who seek to live a Christ-like life."
    - Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

    Available from Amazon here. Don’t have a Kindle? Read it on your Mac or PC.

    This book is worth 2 credits. Read it, fill out the General Worksheet for books, and return it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Kindle for Mac or PC

    Read anywhere. Now you can buy Kindle electronic books even if you don't have a Kindle. What is Kindle? Kindle is Amazon's electronic book reading device. But you don't have to buy a Kindle to enjoy Amazon's Kindle books. Now you can download the Kindle Reader for FREE.

    Once you have the Kindle Reader, enjoy any of the Orthodox Christian Kindle books listed in the left column of this blog. There are also many more being added every day to Amazon's Kindle Store.

    As I said, now you can read anywhere. Yes, it's true! Go for it. And earn credits while doing so.

    May your electronic reading be blessed!

    Podcast: Changes in Iconography

    On this week’s episode of Come Receive the Light, Dr. Anthony Vrame, Director of Christian Education for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, tells us about how icons have changed stylistically and why those changes happen. We also learn more about what makes an icon, verses just a painting. Listen here.

    You can earn one credit for listening to this podcast! After listening, complete the podcast homework form (in the column at left) and send it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

    May your listening be blessed!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    "Wonder" Blog

    "Wonder," a new blog created by the OCA, is geared towards young, college aged adults, but is very readable by all. Every month comprises a theme that is addressed by several Orthodox writers and priests, giving their thoughts and spiritual teaching.

    Gently and plainly written, these explorations on matters of faith and of the world are worthy of study and reflection. "Atheism" was explored in January and February. The current theme is "Capital Punishment."

    You can earn credits for any reading you do on this blog. Just read a blog post, complete the general worksheet for each reading, and submit it to else10(at)gmail(dot)com.

    http://www.ocawonder.com

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    On Glorifying God

    Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen! Glorify Him!

    Here is an interesting post to consider this Bright Week. In his blog, Mystagogy, John Sanidopoulos considers how we can glorify God when we can't describe Him. He offers the thoughts of St Cyril of Jerusalem in answer.

    Visit the post here.

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: The Annunciation

    Scripture
    Glory to you, O Lord, glory to You!
    Luke 1: 26-38

    Lesson
    Homily on the Feast of the Annunciation
    By St Theodore the Studite

    Questions
    1. What is the "flesh"?
    1. According to St Theodore, why should we grieve for the world?
    3. What does Mary show us that we can copy in our own lives, especially during Lent (and after)?

    You can earn one credit for this lesson--simply e-mail your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by April 1, 2010. God bless your study!

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    A Treasure Online: the Prologue of Ochrid

    This past Sunday, Fr. Andrew dedicated a new icon in our church, an icon of St Nicholas of Zhica and South Canaan, Pennsylvania. Dubbed the "Serbian Chrysostom," Father referred us to one of this Saint's greatest works, the Prologue of Ochrid. The Prologue consists of daily readings from the Saints, plus a reflection written by Bishop Nicholas.

    Now you can read the entire Prologue, a real treasure, online here. It is searchable by date.

    This is a wonderful daily resource for spiritual reading. I hope it will be a blessing to you!

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Approaching the Resurrection

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You!
    Matthew 27: 27-31

    Lesson
    Sermon for the Sunday of St Mary of Egypt
    by Metropolitan Anthony Sourozh

    Questions
    1. Why were the disciples afraid?
    2. What must we all do to "make it through to the resurrection," so to speak?
    3. Who is the church a refuge for?

    You can receive one credit for this lesson by submitting your answers to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by March 27. May your learning be blessed!

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: The Lord's Prayer

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Luke 11: 1-4

    Lesson
    The Lord's Prayer
    By St Cyril of Jerusalem

    Questions
    1. The Lord's prayer starts with three praises, so to speak. What are they? How do they praise God?
    2.How does St Cyril explain forgiveness and temptation?
    3. What aspects of the Lord's prayer relate to Lent?

    Receive one credit for this lesson by emailing your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 25. Be blessed!

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: On Confession

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Genesis 4: 2-10
    Genesis 4:23

    Lesson
    St Chrysostom: On Confession
    A reading with commentary from Ancient Faith Radio

    Questions
    1. Why was Lamech "commendable"?
    2. According to St Chrysostom, what is worse than NOT confessing?
    3. How does confession help us during Lent?
    4. How does St Chrysostom's homily encourage you?

    To receive one credit for this study, please e-mail your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 24. May God bless your studies!

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Endurance

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Hebrews 12: 1-10

    Lesson
    "If those attacked by many passions of soul and body endure patiently, do not out of negligence surrender their free will, and do not despair, they are saved. Similarly, he who has attained the state of dispassion, freedom from fear and lightness of heart, quickly falls if he does not confess God's grace continually by not judging anyone. Indeed, should he dare to judge someone, he makes it evident that in acquiring his wealth he has relied on his own strength, as St. Maximus states." --St Peter of Damascus

    Questions
    1. Why is endurance necessary?
    2. Who is our example? What traits did Jesus show us that are worth copying?
    3. In the Lesson, St Peter talks about enduring the passions. Why should we? How is this relevant to Lent?
    4. How long should we endure, according to the Scripture and the Lesson?

    Receive one credit for this activity. E-mail your answers by March 16 to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. God bless your learning!

    Lesson for Lent: The Cross

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Mark 8:34-9:1

    Lesson
    The Cross of Christ
    By Prof. Andreyev

    Questions
    1. Why do we adore the Cross during the third week of Lent?
    2. In the Lesson, what three new things did you learn about the Cross?
    3. From the Scripture, what does it mean to "carry one's cross"? Why is this necessary for a Christian?

    To receive one credit for this lesson, email your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 15, 2010. Blessed Lent to all!

    School Prizes for this year...

    At the close of this school year (June 2010), prizes will be awarded to the top three credit-earners. The prizes include a huge Russian icon of the Trinitiy (first place), a small handcrafted icon of our Lord Jesus Christ (second place), and a Mere Christianity/CS Lewis blank journal (third place).

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Pressing On

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Genesis 8:4-21

    Lesson
    About Fasting
    By St. Theodore the Studite

    Already the fast has advanced and lays on us, brethren, the task of pressing on eagerly again and again to what follows as each has chosen, not reluctantly or under constraint; for "God loves a cheerful" faster [1 Cor. 9:7; St Paul, of course, has ‘giver’]. Except that the coenobitic rule does not let each one act according to their own will; but this is the common limit of self-mastery for those living in obedience: the cutting of their own will. Fasting then is good, because it tames the passions and subjects the flesh to the spirit; weeping is good, because it wipes clean and washes the heart of sins and sets it pure before the Lord; prayer is good, because it gives the mind wings and makes it a companion of God; love is good, because it disregards what concerns itself for the advantage of the neighbour; zeal is good, because it lightens toils and makes the spirit young, as it makes the elder young again. Therefore let us become cheerful, let us be eager. The moment for psalmody? Let us advance keenly. The moment for work? Let us work earnestly. The moment for stillness? Let us be still reasonably. The time for talk? Let us talk suitably. And to speak simply, doing "everything decently and in order"[1 Cor. 14:40], as we have been instructed; let us remain outside tumult and all idle chatter. Let the measure of genuflexions be completed and the customary recitation be fulfilled, according to each one’s power, while watch is kept over the body’s health. And would that the God of peace might bring us to the queen of days, to the resurrection of Christ, and make us worthy of the kingdom of heaven, where there is "no food and drink, but justice and peace and joy," as it is written, "in the Holy Spirit" [Rom. 14:17]. Would that we might share in them richly, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always and to the ages of ages. Amen.

    (This lesson was found here.)

    Questions
    1. What is the most important verse in the Scripture selection? Why?
    2. Why would God love a "cheerful faster"?
    3. St Theodore says, Therefore let us become cheerful, let us be eager. What virtues and their outcomes does he encourage? Are these hard to do? Why or why not?

    To receive 1 credit for this study, please email your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 12, 2010. May your learning be blessed!

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: The Prayer of St Ephraim

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You!
    Proverbs 10:1-22

    Lesson
    The Prayer of St Ephraim

    Questions
    1. In the Scripture, what is contrasted?
    2. There are also contrasts in St Ephraim's prayer. How do these relate to the Scripture?
    3. Why do you think St Ephraim's prayer is especially prayed at Lent?

    To receive 1 credit for this study, send your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 19, 2010. May your study be blessed!

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: A Homily for the Beginning of Lent

    First, my apologies, dear Readers, for missing a few days of lessons. I will be "back posting" them over the next few days. Thank you for your patience!

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You!
    Genesis 6: 9-22
    Genesis 7: 1-5

    Lesson
    A Homily for the Beginning of Lent
    A podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko

    Questions
    1. In the story of the Flood, the Lord was very angry. Yet He showed mercy. How? And how is Lent a time of mercy?
    2. It rained on earth for 40 days to cleanse it from sin. How does this relate to the 40 days of Lent?
    3. What encouragement can we glean from the homily?

    To receive 1 credit for this lesson, email your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 7, 2010. May your learning be blessed!

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Sunday of Orthodoxy

    Scripture
    Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You!
    Genesis 5:1-24

    Lesson
    Sunday of Orthodoxy
    Thank you, Lee, for this link.

    Questions
    1. What does it mean for you to be made in the image of God?
    2. Why do you think the descendants of Adam are listed right after a statement that Adam was made in God's likeness?
    3. In the Lesson, Father Jacobse links God's image with Orthodox unity. Why are these relevant topics to think about during Lent?

    To receive 1 credit for this story, email your answers to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by March 4, 2010. May your study be blessed!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Fantastic Reading List for Lent -- and other times, too

    Please peruse this wonderful Lenten Reading List by blogger Orthocath. All the items on the list are available for reading online and include Bibles, readings from the Church Fathers, writings of the saints, and much more.

    Read any of the items on this list to receive 2 credits each during Lent. Choose an appropriate worksheet to report on your reading from the downloadable homework sheets at left. Then forward your completed work to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by Pascha, and you'll receive 2 credits.

    Thanks, Mark, for bringing this to my attention!

    Students, may your reading be blessed!

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Humility

    Scriptures
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Isaiah Selections
    Malachi Selections

    Lesson
    Humility

    Questions
    1. How do the two Scripture selections relate to each other?
    2. What do the Scriptures say about us and about God? (Compare and contrast.)
    3. How does humility relate to Lent?

    To receive one credit for this activity, send your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com by March 1, 2010. May God bless your study!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: The Fast

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 28, 2010.

    Scriptures
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!
    Isaiah 4:2 - 5:7
    Genesis 3:21 - 4:7
    Proverbs 3:34 - 4:22
    Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Lesson
    The Fast
    by Frederica Mathewes-Green
    This is an mp3 podcast that you can listen to on your computer.

    Questions
    1. How does Genesis 4:7 relate to fasting and to the passions?
    2. Personally reflect on why it is hard (or easy) for you to fast. (You need not submit the answer to this question.)
    3. What three things did you learn from the podcast about fasting that you did not know before?

    For additional reading during Lent, please check out the Lenten booklist under "Booklists" at left. May you be blessed!

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Book Sale: The Jesus Prayer

    One time Lenten offer from Regina Orthodox Press!
    Buy The Jesus Prayer now at 20% off and you may purchase anything else in our catalog and/or web site at 50% off. Priced at $16.99, special introductory offer price is $13.59 (plus $2.50 S&H).

    About The Jesus Prayer
    Perfect for the Lenten season, Frederica Mathewes-Green offers a comprehensive book on the Jesus Prayer - a spiritual jewel for anyone who yearns for a real and continuous presence of Christ. She illuminates the history, theology and spirituality of Orthodoxy, so that the Prayer can be understood in its native context. She provides practical steps for making it a part of our being.

    Regina Orthodox Press
    PO Box 5288, Salisbury, MA 01952
    Toll free call 800.636.2470
    Fax 978.462.5079
    www.reginaorthodoxpress.com

    You may read this book for credit. Simply read the book, fill out the General Books worksheet (downloadable from the left) and submit your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. When your worksheet is received, you will be awarded two credits!

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Suffering, Sickness and Death

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 26, 2010.

    Scriptures

    Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you.
    Hebrews 1:1-12
    2 Timothy 2:1-10
    Mark 2:23 - 3:5
    John 15:17 - 16:2

    Lesson

    Suffering, Sickness and Death

    Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Questions

    1. Name some reasons for suffering
    2. In what way did Christ suffer in the Scripture from Mark?
    3. How does suffering relate to our Lenten journey?

    For additional reading during Lent, please check out the Lenten booklist under "Booklists" at left. May you be blessed!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Sin

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 25, 2010. Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Scriptures
    Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You.
    Isaiah 3:1-15
    Genesis 2:20 - 3:20
    Proverbs 3:19-34

    Lesson
    Sin

    Questions
    1. Why did bad things happen to Israel?
    2. God has a plan for sin--what is it?
    3. In light of the Scriptures and Lesson, why is the Lenten period necessary before Pascha?

    For additional reading during Lent, please check out the Lenten booklist under "Booklists" at left. May you be blessed!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Love and Judgment

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 22, 2010.

    Scriptures
    Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you.
    Isaiah 2:3-11
    Genesis 1:24-2:3
    Proverbs 2:1-22
    Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Lesson
    Love and Judgment

    Questions
    1. What things do the people in Isaiah 2:6-8 prefer? How do these "treasures" compare to the ones given by God in Genesis and those described in Isaiah 2:3-4?
    2. What treasures does God promise in the reading in Proverbs? According to the Lesson, our choice of treasures will lead to what ends?
    3. How do the Scriptures and the Lesson apply to Lent?

    For additional reading during Lent, please check out the Lenten booklist under "Booklists" at left. May you be blessed!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    New Class! "The Jesus I Never Knew"

    Join Father Andrew Harrison as he discusses the life of Jesus Christ through video discussion and films!

    "The Jesus I Never Knew"
    Begins: February 26, 2010
    When: Every Friday at 7 pm for six weeks
    Where: St Luke Orthodox Church, Palos Hills, IL

    Classes are 1 hour long and a workbook is included. Receive 1 credit for each class you attend. Father will take attendance.

    Questions? E-mail Father Andrew at oandrey(at)aol(dot)com.

    Who will Jesus be to you this Lenten season? Come and find out.

    Lesson for Lent: St Mary of Egypt

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 22, 2010.

    Scriptures
    Isaiah 1:19-2:4
    Genesis 1:14-23
    Proverbs 1:20-33
    Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Lesson
    The Story of Saint Mary of Egypt.
    This story is typically read with the Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete during the first week of Lent.

    Questions
    1. Compare and contrast Isaiah 1: 19-31 with Isaiah 2: 1-4. How are the worlds described different?
    2. In the story of Saint Mary of Egypt, Zosimas strove to find one thing. What was it? What did God show him instead?
    3. How does the story of Saint Mary of Egypt relate to our Lenten Journey?

    For additional reading during Lent, please check out the Lenten booklist under "Booklists" at left. May you be blessed!

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Lesson for Lent: Divine Beauty

    To receive 1 credit for this activity, read the Scriptures and the Lesson. Answer the Questions and return them by e-mail to else10(at)gmail(dot)com by 5 pm February 21, 2010.

    Scriptures
    Isaiah 1: 1-20
    Genesis 1: 1-13
    Proverbs 1: 1-20
    Scripture selections are from the OCA web site. All Scriptures links are in the New King James version. Links are from BibleGateway.

    Lesson
    Divine Beauty
    The Lesson is from the OCA web site.

    Questions
    1. How does the Scripture in Isaiah relate to the Scripture in Proverbs?
    2. After contemplating the Lesson, what is one of the meanings of the creation narrative in Genesis?
    3. How do these Scriptures relate to our Lenten Journey?

    May you be blessed!

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Upcoming Orthodox Events All Over - Mark Your Calendars!

    All these events can earn you credits. Attendance at a one-day event or workshop is worth 1 credit. Events of three or more days are worth 1 credit per day. Simply fill out the event/workshop worksheet and submit it to me at else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

    + St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary to appear on "The Economic Report" on FOX BUSINESS NEWS
    When: Saturday, January 30th, 2010
    Airtimes are: 2:30 pm ET; 1:30 pm CT; 12:30 pm MT; and 11:30 am PT
    Description: Father Chad Hatfield, chancellor of St. Vladimir's Seminary, notes: "We are grateful to God and humbled to be a part of 'The Economic Report' production. We believe that this appearance will help raise awareness of the Orthodox Christian faith nationally as well as show the American public how a faith-based school is meeting the challenge of the economic downturn."

    + Pre-Lenten Retreat (Sponsored by the Antiochian Women of the Diocese)
    Topic: "Back to the Future With Saint Ignatius: Then is Now!”
    Speaker: Mother Alexandra (Abbess of St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village)
    When: Saturday, January 30th, 2010
    Where: Saint George Orthodox Church on 6 Atwood Ave. Norwood, MA 02062

    + Pre-Lenten Spiritual Retreat (2nd Lecture)
    Topic: “Growing in the Image & Likeness of God”
    When: Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 7 pm
    Where: Christ the Savior Orthodox Cathedral on 300 Garfield St. Johnstown, PA 15906

    + Inquiry into Christian Orthodoxy: An Exposition of the Greek Orthodox Faith (5 Weeks - 10 Sessions)
    Speaker: Fr. John T. Tavlarides
    When: February 1st thru March 3rd, 2010 - every Monday & Wednesday from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
    Where: Saint Sophia Frosene Education Center on 36th St. (& Massachusetts Ave NW) Washington, DC 20007
    Description: For those who desire to know the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church either with a view toward formal affiliation or simply to augment their knowledge about the Faith
    To enroll, please contact Pete Panagiotopoulos at the Cathedral Office.

    + The 38th Annual Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (DOWAMA) Clergy Brotherhood Retreat
    Topic: “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? (Job 7:17): Fulfillment of Personhood according to Elder Sophrony of Essex”
    Speaker: Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex
    When: Tuesday, February 2nd thru Friday, February 5th, 2010
    Where: The Spiritual Life Center on 7100 East 45th St. North Wichita, KS 67226

    + Kursk Root Icon Visit
    When: Friday, February 5th, 2009 at 7 pm
    Where: Holy Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on 2500 Clairmont Rd., NE Atlanta, GA 30329
    Description: The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign dates from the 13th century, and is one of the most ancient icons of the Russian Church. The icon is commemorated on September 8 an on November 27. During the Tatar invasion in the thirteenth century the city of Kursk was ravaged by the Horde of Batu and fell into desolation. After this, the residents of the city of Rylsk, often journeyed to the site of Kursk to hunt wild beasts. On September 8, 1259, a hunter noticed the icon lying on a root face downwards to the ground. The hunter lifted it and saw that the image of the icon was similar to the Novgorod "Znamenie" Icon of the Mother of God. Just as the hunter lifted up the holy icon from the earth, a strong spring of pure water surged up at that place where the icon rested. With the help of friends the hunter rebuilt an old small chapel and placed the newly-found icon in it. When news of this spread, many came from Rylsk to this old chapel to venerate the icon and pray about their sorrows and needs. There the Mother of God healed all who came to her icon. Soon after, the icon was transferred to Rylsk and put it in a new church in honor of the Nativity of the Theotokos. But the icon did not long remain there. It disappeared and returned to the place of its first appearance. The inhabitants of Rylsk repeatedly took it and carried it back to their city, but the icon incomprehensibly returned to its former place. It was realized, that the Theotokos preferred the place of appearance of her icon. This icon, and the help granted by the Mother of God, is linked with important events in Russian history: with the war of liberation of the Russian nation during the Polish-Lithuanian incursion in 1612, and the 1812 Fatherland war.

    + St. Photios the Great Symposium
    Topic: “Just Another Face in the Crowd? Recognizing Jesus in the Postmodern University”
    Speaker: Bishop Savas Zembillas of Troas
    When: Saturday, February 6th, 2010
    Where: Holy Cross Orthodox Theological Seminary on 50 Goddard Ave. Brookline, MA 02445
    For more information, contact: Daniel Beklonick or Mary Long at the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College.

    + Kursk Root Icon Visit
    When: Saturday, February 6th, 2009 - Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am
    Where: Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church on 6728 Campground Rd. Cumming, GA 30040.

    + Kursk Root Icon Visit
    When: Saturday, February 6th, 2009 - Vigil at 6 pm
    Where: St. John (Maximovitch) the Wonder-worker Orthodox Church on 543 Cherokee Ave. SE Atlanta, GA 30312.

    + Kursk Root Icon Visit
    When: Sunday, February 7th, 2009 - Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am
    Where: St. Mary of Egypt Russian Orthodox Church on 1765 Woodstock Rd. Roswell, GA 30075.
    For more information on the icon, please click this link.

    + Kursk Root Icon Visit
    When: Sunday, February 7th, 2009 - Molieben & Akathist service at 3 pm
    Where: St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church on 925 Beaver Ruin Rd. Norcross, GA 30093
    For more information on the icon, please click this link.

    + Pre-Lenten Spiritual Retreat (3rd Lecture)
    Topic: “Growing in the Image & Likeness of God”
    When: Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 7 pm
    Where: Christ the Savior Orthodox Cathedral on 300 Garfield St. Johnstown, PA 15906

    + Topic: “An Insider’s View: Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Today”
    Speaker: Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware of Diokleia (Professor Emeritus, Oxford University & Author of The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, & The Inner Kingdom; Orthodox Co-Chair of the International Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue, Member of the International Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue & Speaker and co-founder of the Orientale Lumen Conferences)
    When: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
    Where: Catholic University of America on 620 Michigan Ave. NE Washington, DC 20064

    Topic: “Lent: Our Personal Journey”
    Speaker: Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware of Diokleia (Professor Emeritus, Oxford University & Author of The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, & The Inner Kingdom; Orthodox Co-Chair of the International Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue, Member of the International Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue & Speaker and co-founder of the Orientale Lumen Conferences)
    When: Thursday, February 11th, 2010
    Where: Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church Parish Center on 3410 Woodburn Rd. Annandale, VA 22003

    + The Emmaus Journey - Monthly Lecture Series Sponsored by the Orthodox Clergy of Brooklyn
    Topic: "Significant Other, Surrogates, Reproduction, In-Vitro Fertilization, Piety. Home Church, Economy, Marriage"
    Speaker: Fr. Michael Ellias
    When: Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 7 pm
    Where: Holy Cross Church on 8401 Ridge Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11209

    + Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Mission Team Chicago 2010 Benefit Banquet
    Speaker: Fr. Chad Hatfield (OCMC Board Member; Vice President Chancellor of St. Vladimir's Seminary & former Dean of St. Herman's Seminary, Kodiak, AK)
    When: Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    Where: St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church on 2350 E. Dempster St. Des Plaines, IL 60016
    Donation: $30 per person
    Registration Deadline: January 29, 2010
    Call: 708-533-1543 or e-mail: mtcdinner@live.com

    + Marriage Enrichment Weekend
    Topic: “Sacred Image, Sacred Marriage: Incarnating the Images of Marriage Given to Us in the Church”
    Speaker: Presbytera Kerry Pappas, MA, MA, LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist who works primarily
    with Orthodox couples)
    When: Friday, February 12th thru Monday, February 15th, 2010
    Where: Antiochian Village on 140 Church Camp Trail Bolivar, PA 15923
    Registration information

    + Annual Orthodox Christian Women of Montreal (OCW) Conference 2010
    Topic: “The Lord's Prayer”
    Speaker: Fr. Thomas Hopko (Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary - Crestwood, NY)
    When: Saturday, February 13th, 2010 from 9:30 am to 3 pm
    Where: St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church on 80 de Castelnau St. Montreal, Canada H2R 1P2
    Cost: Advance registration: $35; at the door: $40 (includes breakfast, lunch & refreshments)
    For more information, please contact Matushka Masha Tkachuk at: 514-481-5093 or by e-mail: masha@pusinka.com

    Topic: “Our Transfiguration in Christ: The message of the Philokalia”

    Speaker: Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware of Diokleia (Professor Emeritus, Oxford University & Author of The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, & The Inner Kingdom; Orthodox Co-Chair of the International Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue, Member of the International Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue & Speaker and co-founder of the Orientale Lumen Conferences)
    When: Saturday, February 13th, 2010 - Three Lectures: 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm followed by Great Vespers: 5 pm
    Where: St. Mark Orthodox Church on 7124 River Rd. Bethesda, MD 20817
    For more information, please contact Fr. Gregory Safchuk at: 301-229-6300

    + 2nd Annual Young Adult League (YAL) Retreat
    When: Saturday, February 13th thru Monday, February 15th, 2010
    Where: All Saints Camp on 205 Raft Island Dr. Gig Harbor, WA 98335

    + Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Kallistos
    When: Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 9:30 am followed by Forgiveness Vespers & Fellowship in the parish Hall
    Where: St. Mark Orthodox Church on 7124 River Rd. Bethesda, MD 20817

    + Greek Orthodox Youth Association (GOYA) Lenten Retreat (for all Graduates)
    When: Friday, February 19th thru Sunday, February 21st, 2010
    Where: Diakonia Center on 455 Quail Ridge Rd. Salem, SC 29676
    For more information, please contact Fr. George Savas at: diakoniacenter@yahoo.com or Fr. Matthew Carter at: FrMatthewCarter@gmail.com

    + New Haven Oratorio Choir and Orchestra: Baroque Spectacular
    When: Saturday, February 20th, 2010 at 8 pm
    Where: Trinity Lutheran Church on 292 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06510
    Description: Crystalline and dance-like; intense and profound . . . Experience the multiplicity of the Baroque in a kaleidoscope of vocal and instrumental combinations. A brilliant display of intricacies unfold to delight the senses in a multi-dimensional presentation of small and large ensembles, featuring the singers and instrumentalists of NHOCO, culminating in G.F. Handel's Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest.

    + A Journey Into Light: All about the Faith - A Pan Orthodox Retreat and Resource Fair Lenten Hymns performed by St. Vladimir's Choir & Holy Cross Seminarians
    Topic: "The Importance of the Deaconate in our Orthodox Churches"
    Speakers: Frank Schaeffer & Michael Albano
    When: Saturday, February 20th, 2010 from 11 am to 3 pm
    Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on 4070 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604
    Donation: $5
    For more information, please contact Gale Papageorge at: 203-366-1187

    + St. Theodore Saturday Lenten Retreat
    When: Saturday, February 20th, 2010 - Divine Liturgy at 10 am followed by Lenten brunch & talk
    Where: St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 389 Clark St. Sharon, PA 16146

    + Sunday of Orthodoxy Pan-Orthodox Celebration
    When: Sunday, February 21st, 2010 at 6 pm
    Where: Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on 5701 N. Redwood Dr. Chicago, IL 60631

    + 2009–10 Faith & Thought Lecture Series Speakers
    Topic: “Looking East: Protestant Americans and Orthodox Russians in the 20th Century”
    Speaker: Matt Miller, Ph.D. (assistant professor of history at Northwestern College. He joined the Northwestern faculty after teaching for several years in Moscow. A specialist in the history of imperial and Soviet Russia, Miller studies the development of religion, education, and philanthropy. His research and writing explores the interaction of Russian Orthodox Christianity with the modern world)
    When: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 7:30 pm
    Where: Northwestern College Nazareth Chapel on 3003 Snelling Ave North St. Paul, MN 55113

    + Greek Orthodox Youth Association (GOYA) Lenten Retreat (for High School Girls)
    When: Friday, February 26th thru Sunday, February 28th, 2010
    Where: Diakonia Center on 455 Quail Ridge Rd. Salem, SC 29676
    For more information, please contact Fr. George Savas at: diakoniacenter@yahoo.com or Fr. Matthew Carter at: FrMatthewCarter@gmail.com


    + One-day Lenten Retreat
    Topic: “The Crucified & Glorified Messiah”
    Speaker: Fr. Thomas Hopko (Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary - Crestwood, NY)
    When: Saturday, February 27th, 2010
    Where: Christ the Savior Orthodox Church on 4285 Ashland Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45212
    Registration: $20 per person; $30 per couple or family; college students - FREE
    Please RSVP by phone to Fr. Steven Kostoff at: 513-351-0907 or by email: steven.k@zoomtown.com. Information.

    + 2010 New York Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA) Lenten Retreat
    When: Saturday, February 27th, 2010 from 10 am to 6 pm
    Where: Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church on 835 South Ave. Rochester, NY 14620
    All GOYAns in the NY part of the Metropolis are invited!!!

    + Pastoral Conference of the Eastern American Diocese
    When: Monday, March 1st thru Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
    Where: St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral on 706 Hill St. Mayfield, PA 18433
    The Pastoral Conference is open to all priests, deacons, and matushkas of the Eastern American Diocese and will begin on Monday, March 1st at 9:00 AM and close on Wednesday, March 3rd after Liturgy (approximately 3:00 PM)
    · Hierarchal Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, led by the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, co-served by His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, His Grace, Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, and clergy from around the diocese.
    · A lecture by famous author Archpriest Artemiy Vladimirov, professor at St. Tikhon Theological Institute in Moscow and rector of All Saints Church in “Krasnoe Selo,” Moscow.
    · A lecture for matushkas by Matushka Elena Vladimirov.
    · A lecture by Deacon Andrei Psarev on the 50th anniversary of the repose of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko).
    · A report by the diocesan secretary on the work and progress of the diocesan administrative center.
    · A pilgrimage to nearby St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, PA.
    · Separate group meetings for clergy and matushkas.
    · Liturgical workshop for clergy.
    Each parish is responsible for reimbursing its clergy and matushkas for their traveling, accommodation, and registration expenses. Each parish treasurer is to forward a check in the amount of $200.00 per each attending clergyman and matushka. Registration must be mailed by January 22, 2010 to: St. John the Baptist Cathedral Attn: Subdeacon Michael Pavuk - 706 Hill St. Mayfield, PA 18433 More information; registration form.

    + Annual Diocesan Lenten Retreats - CENTRAL REGION
    Topic: “God's Mercy: What To Do When Great Lent Isn't So Great” (for adults)
    Speaker: Fr. Stephen Loposky
    Topic: “You are the Light of the World” (for Youth Ages 6-12)
    Speaker: Fr. Miles Zdinak
    When: Saturday, March 6th, 2010 from 9 am to 5 pm
    Where: St. Nicholas Church on 903 Ann St. Homestead, PA 15120
    Registration Deadline: February 28th, 2010 - Contact Barbara Coe at 724-375-5384 or e-mail: barbnharry@comcast.net

    + Annual Jr/Sr Ukranian Orthodox League (U.O.L.) Lenten Retreat
    Topic: "Finding Your Spiritual Path"
    When: Saturday, March 6th, 2010
    Where: Villa Maria Retreat Center on 2067 Evergreen Rd. Villa Maria, PA 16155
    Registration Deadline: February 24th, 2010 (A late fee of $10 will apply after February 24th, 2010)
    Registration Fee: Adults $30; Young Adults & Teens $25
    *Note: Jr. UOL members need a Chaperone
    For more information, please contact Diane Senedak at: 330-792-6699 or e-mail: dkssenny@aol.com or Melanie Nakonachny at: 440-842-3820 or e-mal: MelanieNak@aol.com

    + Annual Diocesan Lenten Retreats - EASTERN REGION
    Topic: “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve From Paradise: Insights into the Battle With Sin And the Spiritual Life From the Book of Genesis” (for adults)
    Speaker: Fr. Luke Mihaly
    Topic: “Music and the Orthodox Spiritual Life” (for Youth Ages 12-18)
    Speaker: Subdeacon Nicholas Mihaly
    Topic: “Let Us Forgive All In The Resurrection” (for Youth Ages 6-11)
    Speaker: Protodeacon Gregory Benc
    When: Saturday, March 20th, 2010 from 9:30 am to 5 pm
    Where: National Christian Conference Center on 1485 Valley Forge Rd. Phoenixville, PA 19460
    Registration Deadline: March 6th, 2010 - Contact Tracey Bilanin at 484-624-4664 or e-mail: tbilanin@yahoo.com

    + Annual Diocesan Lenten Retreats - WESTERN REGION
    Topic: “I was in prison and you visited me..." Matt. 25:36 - Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry”
    When: Saturday, March 20th, 2010 at 2 pm
    Where: Saint Nicholas Church on 954 State St. Hobart, IN 46342
    For more information, please contact Fr. Sam Sherry, the Dean of the Chicago Deanery at: FrSam@juno.com

    + Annual JUNIOR- SENIOR Ukranian Orthodox League (U.O.L.) LENTEN RETREAT
    Topic: “Confession"
    When: Saturday, March 20th, 2010
    Where: St. Francis Retreat House on 3918 Chipman Rd. Easton, PA 18045
    Registration Deadline: February 28th, 2010 - Contact Oleh or Natalie Bilynsky at 610-892-7315 or e-mail: nsufler@aol.com
    Retreat registration rate $40 (late registration additional $10 if mailed after 3/1/10)

    + Icon Retreat Workshop: The Holy Family
    Instructor: Maryam Gossling, FSPA
    When: Sunday, April 11th thru Saturday, April 17th, 2010
    Where: Marywood Lodge on 3560 Highway 51 North Arbor Vitae, WI 54568
    Description: In the early Church, believers have seen icons as windows to the heavenly world. In the Eastern Orthodox world the use of icons has flourished for centuries, while a resurgence of appreciation of the significance and spiritual richness of this is presently occurring in the West. Participants will write/paint The Holy Family (no art experience required), while being introduced to the history of icons and their use as a focus for prayer and contemplation.
    Registration fee all materials, food and lodging; commuter fee includes all materials and the noon meal each day. Please include a $100 deposit; $50 commuters (deposit refunded if cancelled by March 12). Fee: Resident $550; Commuter: $285. Limit of 15 participants
    Registration Deadline: March 12th, 2010

    + RUSSIAN SACRED ART TRIP: An Educational Tour
    When: June 11th thru June 27th, 2010
    Includes Moscow and cities of the “Golden Ring” . . . Vologda, St. Petersburg, Novgorod, and Pskov.
    17 days/16 nights June 11 – June 27, 2010, with OPTIONAL 4 Day Extension in St. Petersburg: SPONSORED BY The Museum of Russian Icons
    The tour cost based on 25 participants is $5150 USD / €3485 EURO
    The cost of the trip INCLUDES airfare from Boston, accommodations at three star hotels, transportation, tours, entry fees, and most meals.
    $200 tax-deductible contribution to the Museum of Russian Icons included
    Registration deadline: March 11th, 2010

    + SUMMER CAMP AT ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE
    Camp Dates: Session 1 - June 20th thru July 2nd; June 20th thru June 27th (one week); Session 2 - July 4th thru July 16th; Session 3 - July 18th thru July 30th; Session 4 - August 1st thru August 13th
    Where: Anticohian Village on 201 St Ignatius Trail Bolivar, PA 15923
    Camp serves young people ages 9 - 17. Take advantage of Early-Bird Registration by paying in full before March 1