Monday, December 15, 2014

Blessed Nativity!

The Nativity of Our Lord
 Dear Students and Friends,

The School will be on hiatus until mid-January. Wishing each of you every blessing of God, now and always.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Watch this interactive video to learn more about all the parts of the Orthodox Nativity icon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Video: Fr Alexander Schmemann

Two Alexanders: Fr Schemann (left) and Solzhenitsyn

 Dear Students and Friends,

We have a unique opportunity (as is so often presented on the Internet) to view a video of a famous Orthodox teacher--in this case, Alexander Schmemann, author and past dean of St Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary.

Fr. Alexander Schmemann used to appear on a CBS program called “For Our Times.” Shortly after Fr. Schmemann’s death, the show aired a documentary about his life and influence, “a recollection of the man and a tribute to his memory.”

You can now watch this program on the Orthodox Christian Network! Watch now.

May you be blessed by this program. Wishing you a holy and blessed Thanksgiving.

"Give thanks for in things, for this is God's will for you."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New book on asceticism

Dear Students and Friends,

A new resource has just been published that fits in with our study on Asceticism. Orthodox author Anthony Coniaris has written "Tools for Theosis," now newly published by Light and Life Publishing.

Here is the book description:

Theosis--becoming Christ-like--is a life-long process that requires our personal participation and more importantly, the workings of the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul reminds us, “the spirit is willing but the flesh (fallen man) is weak.” How do we equip ourselves, therefore, for this arduous and ongoing journey of theosis? Fortunately, the Church in all her Wisdom, does not leave us without practical guidance. The author, Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris, has gleaned a variety of timeless tools from countless Orthodox sources, which assist us in our struggle to fully participate in the process of theosis. This book will be of great assistance for those desiring to don the armor and faithfully commit to the rigors of our high calling. It is a “must read” for any Orthodox, and beneficial for both personal use or as a group study.

While I have not had a chance to see the table of contents, it seems to me that this book will address some--if not many--of the practices we Orthodox term "ascetic"--prayer, alms, fasting and more. I invite you to check out the book on the publisher's website and consider it for your future reading.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Read-Along almost done

Dear Students and Friends,

Our Read-Along in Hebrews is almost complete. The last lesson for the book by Father Farley is now available on the Read-Along tab at the top of this website.

May your studying be blessed!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spiritual Warfare

St Michael
Dear Students and Friends,

In these times, there are many disturbing happenings in the world. We know these happenings have a spiritual component. What weapons does our Lord give us to fight spiritual battles?

Join Veronica Hughes, St. Paul, and other Saints of the Church for a 2 part podcast series on Spiritual Violence to explore the weapons we Christians use to fight our battles in our quest to understand our Lord’s words, “the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Listen to Part One.

Listen to Part Two.

These podcasts are courtesy of the Orthodox Christian Network.

You can receive one credit for each podcast you listen to. Simply listen, fill out the Podcast worksheet, and send it to

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Struggle for Virtue -- Suggested Answers

Dear Students and Friends,

Below you will find suggested answers to the questions posted on October 1. If you have any questions, let's discuss! Send your thoughts to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

Introduction -- Q & A

  1. In the book’s introduction, Bishop Averky says that many people see asceticism as a “fanatical monstrosity or self-torture.” Before you read the Introduction, what was your definition of asceticism?

    Here you may have written your own thoughts about what asceticism meant to you prior to reading this book. You might agree with Bishop Averky that “Normally, asceticism is understood as self-restraint … but without any thought of why and for what reason this is done…” (See the bottom of page x in the book.)
  2. What does the “practice of asceticism” entail?

    The practice of performing good works … that is, works of love for God and works of love for one’s neighbor, or such works as would demonstrate that we are indeed striving to love God and neighbor with true evangelical love. (See the bottom of page xii and the top of page xiii)
  3. Why is the ascetic life described as a “fight” or a “struggle”?
[It is a struggle to force] oneself to perform good works and to suppress the soul’s evil habits and aspirations that resist them … ( Page xiv, bottom)

Asceticism can also be thought of as “spiritual training” as described in I Corinthians 9:24-27.
  1. However, “good works” are not enough. What does Bishop Averky say counts more?

    “Works are limited … the main thing is not works but man’s inner disposition” (Page xvi). Doing it out of duty, or to be seen by others, or because of true love.
  2. How are evil habits “like shackles”?

    “They deprive him of his moral freedom and keep him like a prisoner” and “making the person into a pitiful, weak-willed slave” (Page xvii). Also read Romans 7:18-25.
  3. Some Christian denominations have definitions for “the chief end of man.” What does Bishop Averky say this is?
Some Christian denominations say the chief end of man is to glorify God. However, Bishop Averky states that “man’s success in the spiritual life … drawing near to God and entering into communion with God“ (Page xix).
  1. Why is asceticism for everyone?

    “Everyone is equally called to battle with sinful passions and evil habits in order to free themselves from the oppression of the power of evil … “ (Page xxi and xxii)
  2. What is the will of God for man?

    Perfection, holiness and sanctification (theosis) (Pages xxii and xxiii).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reading "The Struggle for Virtue" -- Introduction Questions

Dear Students and Friends,

Please forgive my delay in posting questions to guide your reading of "The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society" by Bishop Averky.

By now you have read the Introduction, so I want to pose the questions below as a way for you to reflect on the important content of this chapter. You can receive one credit for answering these questions. Simply read the Introduction, answer the questions, and send your answers to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

On Friday, I will post some thoughts and possible answers for the questions. May your studies be blessed!

Questions on the Introduction

  1. In the book’s introduction, Bishop Averky says that many people see asceticism as a “fanatical monstrosity or self-torture.” Before you read the Introduction, what was your definition of asceticism?
  2. What does the “practice of asceticism” entail?
  3. Why is the ascetic life described as a “fight” or a “struggle”?
  4. However, “good works” are not enough. What does Bishop Averky say counts more?
  5. How are evil habits “like shackles”?
  6. Some Christian denominations have definitions for “the chief end of man.” What does Bishop Averky say this is?
  7. Why is asceticism for everyone?
  8. What is the will of God for man?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Read-Along: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Dear Students and Friends,

Our first Read-Along this year is in the book, "The Epistle to the Hebrews, High Priest in Heaven," by Fr Lawrence Farley.

Join us virtually as we study Hebrews with the help of teacher Lee at St Luke Church. You may get the book here on Amazon and then complete the lessons (posted on the Read-Along tab at the top of this website) to go along with the book.

Current lessons cover chapters 1-4 in Hebrews. You'll be blessed by this holy epistle. Please read along with us!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Virtual Book Club for "The Struggle for Virtue"

Dear Students and Friends,

If you are reading the book, "The Struggle for Virtue" by Archbishop Averky, you can join in an ongoing discussion of the book on Goodreads sponsored by Holy Trinity Publications! The "virtual book club" has just started, so grab the book, start reading, and post your comments to the club!

Here's what Holy Trinity Publications says about their club:

"Holy Trinity Publications invites you to join us in reading and discussing The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society by the ever-memorable Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery. We've began reading and will cover each short chapter over the course of one week. Our book club is hosted onGoodreads, a social networking site designed for readers to share their love of books. It's very easy to become a member if you're not already registered.

Struggle for Virtue is available in paperback or ePub editions directly from Holy Trinity Publications or from any good bookstore or online bookseller. The Kindle edition must be ordered from Amazon.

We hope you'll join us for this mutually enriching study of one of the 20th centuries most prolific Russian fathers!"
May your reading be blessed!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome back to the School of the 70!

Dear Students and Friends,

Welcome back to the 2014-2015 term!

We will begin by studying Asceticism. We will be reading out of two main books. Questions and discussion (via comments) will be posted weekly.

Our two books are:

  • Way of the Ascetics, by Tito Colliander. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1960.
  • The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society, by Archbishop Averky (Taushev). Holy Trinity Publications, 2014.

What is asceticism? Is it just for monks and clergy, or is it for "ordinary people," too? The answers may surprise you.

To participate, acquire the two books listed above. Questions and discussion will be posted this Friday, September 5, and each Tuesday and Friday through the end of October.

While you wait for the books to arrive, please check out these definitions of asceticism:


  • What does asceticism mean to you?
  • What does the Church say about asceticism?

Come back on Friday for questions and discussion!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Time to Enroll!

Dear Students and Friends,

Summer is closing down, and that means that the School of the Seventy resumes on September 1!

If you wish to participate for credit, please enroll anytime using the form in the left column of this website.

We are taking a new approach this year:
  • There will no longer be a yearly prize for participation
  • We will be exploring various specialist roles (various missions within the church) using weekly book readings, lessons and resources. The specialist roles are described here.
  • If you complete and submit all the activities for a specialist role, you will receive a certificate of completion.
The first specialist role we will study will be Ascetic. We will study prayer and other ascetical practices that will help you follow Christ.

So please join us. Enroll now!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

See you in the Fall!

Dear Students and Friends,

Summer is upon us and today is the last day of the School until it resumes on September 1, 2014.

The student with the most credits during this term was STACI! Congrats,'ll be receiving a small prize for your efforts.

If you would like to do some reading over the summer, please check out our past Summer reading lists here.

Wishing you a blessed, safe and holy summer.

Else Tennessen

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Books for Spring

Dear Students and Friends,

Christ is Risen!

In this Bright time after Pascha, let us begin anew our spiritual journeys, refreshed by the promise of the Resurrection. Begin living eternity now! Here are some books that can help. Both are new to the School of the 70.

The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Christians from Eastern Christianity
by Philip LeMasters
Here's what Amazon says: "There's more to Eastern Christianity than ethnic food bazaars, enclaves of immigrants, and clergy with beards. The mystical theology, spiritual disciplines, and rich liturgical worship of the Orthodox Church provide sustenance for anyone seeking resources for growth in the Christian life. Ancient teachings and practices persist in Eastern Christianity that hold together much of what Catholics and Protestants have separated. Believers of all stripes increasingly resonate with Orthodoxy's healthy synthesis of prayer, doctrine, liturgy, asceticism, and call to holiness in all areas of life. This ancient faith speaks with refreshing clarity to contemporary Christians who want to learn from a living tradition that is too little known in Western culture. This volume presents profound insights that will enrich, challenge, and inspire readers of all backgrounds. It invites everyone to encounter a spiritual tradition that is ancient, contemporary, and fascinatingly different."

Sounds like a great book for newcomers to the faith, those curious about Orthodoxy, or even established Orthodox who want to connect more with tradition.

And you can also listen to an interview with Philip LeMasters about his book here!

Help! I'm Bored in Church: Entering Fully into the Divine Liturgy
By David Smith
Here's what Amazon says: "Do you ever find yourself feeling bored in church? Don't despair you're not alone, and there is hope! Fr. David Smith offers four compelling reasons for going to church regardless of how we feel. He then explores six reasons people sometimes feel bored in church, five ways to think about your priest, four ways you can participate more fully in services, three kinds of waiting, two kinds of prayer, and the one thing truly needful in our relationship with God. This book will help you see church as the best place you could possibly be and the place you most want to be."

Is this you? Don't despair. This book talks about church boredom and gives suggestions for re-energizing your participation in Liturgy. 

Earn Credits!
You can earn two credits each for reading the books, and one credit for listening to the Philip LeMasters interview. For the books, read, then fill out the General Worksheet for Books. For the interview, fill out the Podcast Worksheet. Then email your work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit. It's easy!

May your Spring reading and listening be especially blessed.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Christ is Risen!

The empty tomb!

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death.
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing Life!

Christ is Risen!
Indeed, He is Risen!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Activities for Holy Week

Bridegroom icon
Dear Students and Friends,

At last, we have come to this Holy Week. Our thoughts turn toward the Cross and what will happen there to our Beloved Lord. Here are some activities that can help keep us spiritually centered on the most important event in history and what it can mean to us.
You can receive one credit for each activity above. Simply read or listen and fill out the Article or Podcast Worksheet. Send your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your learning and your Holy Week be blessed!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saint Study: St John Climacus (of the Ladder)

Ascend, brothers! Ascend eagerly to the mountain of the Lord!

St John Climacus is best-known for his famous book, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," a description of how to reach heaven. Aimed at monks, lay Orthodox have found it helpful through the centuries for it describes how to grow in the spiritual life and much is applicable to the ordinary person. We celebrate St John on the fourth Sunday of Lent, as we all strive to reach higher spiritual goals. The divine ascent has been put in icon form, as well.

In the icon, monks and saints are striving to climb the ladder. Note the evil, dark demons trying to drag them off!

Learn more about St John by reading:
Book editions of The Ladder:
St John lauded in hymn:

Troparion — Tone 1

Dweller of the desert and angel in the body, / you were shown to be a wonder-worker, our God-bearing Father John. / You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer: / healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith. / Glory to Him who gave you strength! / Glory to Him who granted you a crown! / Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!

Kontakion — Tone 4

The Lord truly set you on the heights of abstinence, / to be a guiding star, showing the way to the universe, / O our Father and Teacher John.
Finally, Fr Andrew of St Luke Church offers us a prayer of the week on St John:
Prayer: O Holy Desert Dweller and Angel in the body, You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigils and prayer. On this day when we commemorate your life and works, we ask you to pray to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that he will guide us up the ladder of divine ascent, reaching the last rung which will open to us the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
Bible Verse: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Matt 5:6.
Bible Question: How is one "filled" through fasting, vigils, and prayer?

Earning credits:
You can receive 1 credit for reading about St John and filling out the Saint worksheet, available from the Lessons tab. Email your completed sheet to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.
You can receive 1 credit for answering the question to the Prayer of the Week. Email your answer to oandrey(at)aol(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.
You can earn 3 credits for reading The Ladder of Divine Ascent and filling out the General Worksheet for books, available from the Lessons tab. Email your completed sheet to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.
May your learning be blessed!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Met. Kallistos Ware: Podcasts for Lent

Dear Students and Friends,

The Orthodox Christian Network has four wonderful podcasts (with transcripts, so you can read AND listen) on important Lenten topics, given by beloved Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, author of The Orthodox Church and many other writings for contemporary Orthodox Christians.

Here are the podcasts:

These will be a blessing to you and give you new food for thought on these basic Orthodox spiritual practices.

You can earn 1 credit for each podcast. Simply listen, fill out the Podcast worksheet (one for each podcast) and return to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

May your listening be blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sunday of the Cross

Adoration of the Cross

Prayer of the Week on the Sunday of the Cross

O Lord, we falter under the crosses You have placed upon us. Give us the strength to bare them as You bore Your cross. By doing so You give us the gift of our own resurrection. May our suffering bring us closer to You and open up our hearts for Your dwelling. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse: “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Bible Question: What do think Jesus means when he mentions: saving and loosing your life?

You can earn one credit for meditating on this prayer and answering the Bible question. Send your answer to oandrey(at)aol(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your prayers be blessed!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Book for Lenten Reading: Thirty Steps to Heaven

Dear Students and Friends,

I recently received and began reading "Thirty Steps to Heaven: The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life" by Vassilios Papavassiliou. In short, easy to read chapters, the author explains St John Climacus' work, Ladder of Divine Ascent, originally written as a guidebook for monastics on how to attain the spiritual life.

I have St John's book on my shelf, but often felt discouraged when I sat down to read it. Now, through "Thirty Steps," I am gaining more easily understood insights and encouragement on how to become closer to Christ. I highly recommend this book to you as something you can read, one chapter a day, during Lent, along with daily scripture reading.

Read more about this new book here and here.

You can earn 2 credits for reading this book. Simply read, complete the General Worksheet for Books, and return it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com after Pascha.

Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. He was born in London in 1977 and holds degrees in pastoral and social theology, classics, and Byzantine music. He is the author of Meditations for Great Lent, Meditations for Advent (Ancient Faith Publishing), Journey to the Kingdom: An Insider’s Look at the Liturgy and Beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Paraclete Press), and numerous articles on Christian Orthodox faith and theology.

Fr Vassilios has a blog with Bible studies and thoughts here. Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lent: An Invitation to Pray

Monk Moses
Dear Students and Friends,

Welcome to Lent. On this blessed first day, this article by Monk Moses the Athonite will remind us of our first love and encourage us to rekindle our relationship with the Lord.

Read the article here.

You can receive 1 credit for reading this article and filling out the Article Worksheet. Send your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

There is also a list of Lenten activities and studies available from the Lent/Pascha tab at the top of this blog. Feel free to work on these anytime during Lent this year.

May your studies be blessed!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saint Study: St Polycarp

St Polycarp: "This age is in need of you if it is to reach God,
just as pilots need winds, and as a storm-tossed sailor needs a port."

Dear Students and Friends,

This is the first of what I hope will be many "Saint Studies" where you can read a few things about a selected Saint, fill out a worksheet, and receive credit.

In this activity, you must read all the selections, then fill out the Saint Worksheet (available from the Lessons tab, above), and also answer the additional questions based on reading the selections. For all this, you can receive TWO credits.

Our first saint is St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who was celebrated a week ago, on February 23, his feast day.


Additional Questions

  1. So much of Polycarp's epistle sounds like the writing of what Apostle? Why do you think that is?
  2. What do you think about Polycarp's exclamation: "Good God! That Thou hast permitted me to be alive at such a time!" What did he mean, and how might that relate to ourselves, living in the 21st century?
E-mail all your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit. May your learning be blessed, and may St Polycarp pray for you!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Read-Along: Ask for the Ancient Paths

Dear Students and Friends,

We are still reading "Ask for the Ancient Paths," by James Guirguis. You can join us, too!

Read the lesson for Chapter 3.

Catch up with the introduction and other lessons on the Read-Along tab, above.

May your learning be blessed!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Preparing for Lent: Returning to God, Part 2

Dear Students and Friends,

This coming Monday we begin the Meat Fast, the last week before Lent and the Great Fast begins for us as Orthodox Christians. Let us continue to prepare for Lent, returning to God.

Looking back on this week, here is a prayer from Father Andrew at St Luke Church for us to reflect on the Prodigal Son, who represents us all in our state of separation from God.

Prayer of the week on the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32)

O Lord, we stand before You confessing our sins. You have taken our sins upon Yourself and nailed them to Your Cross. You have opened a way for us to return to Your father and made Your father our father. As we live in exile from our true home, we pray that You will make a place for us in Your heavenly kingdom when we return. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Bible Verse

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 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." Luke 15:21-22

Bible Question

How is the parable a model for our Lenten experience?

You can receive one credit for reflecting on this prayer and answering the question. Send your answers to oandrey(at)aol(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Preparing for Lent: Returning to God

Dear Students and Friends,

We are on the countdown to Lent. To that effect, I find myself thinking of my own condition and my relationship with God; where am I, and where am I going? Today I found this article on Mystagogy: Orthodoxy and Modern Life - an Interview with Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia. In this article, Met. Nicholas speaks in a simple and direct way of how to be close to God, how Orthodoxy can meet that need, and how to live in today's bewildering and fallen world. I struggle with this question every single day. I'm sure you do, too.

I encourage you to read the article here. You will be blessed and it will put you in the frame of mind for Lent.

"The Church is saying: Let's put God in our life, let's trust in the presence of His love, let's lean our expectations and hopes on Him, and He will respond to everything: our deeper existential quests, our family or health problems, our daily needs." --Met. Nicholas

(School Activity: You can receive 2 credits for reading this article. Simply read, fill out the Article Worksheet, and email it to else10[at]gmail[dot]com.)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Presentation in the Temple

Last week we celebrated the Presentation in the Temple feast, where Jesus is brought to the temple as an infant. St Simeon sees him and finds his promise from God fulfilled! St Anna sees him, she who has been waiting for him many years, and is comforted as well.

On this Sunday, called Candlemas in some countries, candles are also blessed signifying Christ as the Light of the World. Candlemas dates from ancient Celtic times, as the day also marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Our church adopted this date as a way to further the Gospel, as well.

Here are some more studies on this topic:

Here is the prayer of the week for reflection:

Prayer: 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 also may our hearts, by an invisible fire, that is, enlightened by the glowing of the Holy Spirit, avoid the blindness of all manner of sin; so that we may see those things that are pleasing unto You, and availing for our salvation, with the cleansed eye of our soul, so that we, having overcome the darkness of this world, may be granted to attain to the light that never fades: For You are our Savior, and to You do we send up glory, with Your unoriginate Father, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Bible Verse for this Prayer: "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:32

Bible Question for this Prayer: What is the purpose of lighting candles in the church.

You can receive one credit for doing any of the studies or the prayer of the week. For the studies, complete the article worksheet, and send your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com. For the prayer, send in your answer to oandrey(at)aol(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your studies be blessed!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

St Timothy

 Dear Students and Friends,

Yesterday was the feast day of St Timothy. St Timothy was an apostle of St Paul, of whom Paul wrote that Timothy was like a son to him. The letters to St Timothy are full of advice and thoughts on how to live in a fallen world and are thus very encouraging!

Study a bit about St Timothy. You can earn credits for doing so and be edified by this young man's ministry. Here are some activities:
Troparion — Tone 4
Having learned goodness and maintaining continence in all things, / you were arrayed with a good conscience as befits a priest. / From the chosen Vessel you drew ineffable mysteries; / you kept the faith, and finished a course equal to His. / Bishop martyr Timothy, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion — Tone 1
Let us the faithful praise the Holy Apostle Timothy, / the companion of Paul in his travels and together with him / let us honor the wise Anastasius, who came as a star from Persia / for the healing of the passions of our souls and the diseases of our bodies.

St Timothy, pray for us!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prayer of the Week: Our Lord's Baptism

Dear Students and Friends,

Father Andrew of St Luke Church offers this prayer for our meditation:

O Lord, You sanctified the water through Your baptism. You were present when Moses sweetened the waters of Marah; present when he struck the rock and water flowed out. You were present when Isaiah parted the Jordan river and ascended to heaven; present when Joshua carried the Ark of the Covenant across the Jordan into the Holy Land. As we reenact Your Holy Baptism by blessing the water, so be present with us and send Your Holy Spirit upon us so that living water will flow from our hearts and we will be baptized with holy fire. May we experience that river which flows from Your throne in the new Jerusalem. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray this prayer as you need, remembering we are washed by our Lord.

You may also answer this question that Father poses regarding this Bible Verse:

And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev 22:1). What else will we experience from God's Holy River? (See Rev 22:2.)

To receive one credit, you can send your answer here (else10-at-gmail-dot-com) and to Father (oandrey-at-aol-dot-com) for anonymous posting to the St Luke website.

May you be blessed in your prayers!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Read: St Chrysostom's Sermon on the Theophany

Dear Students and Friends,

Today we celebrate the Theophany and Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, the day in which He was revealed to all. Read more about this feast.

St Chrysostom has written a marvelous sermon about the Lord's Baptism and its meaning for us as Christians. He also discusses why the Lord's Baptism is considered the revealing of the Lord rather than His Nativity.

Read the complete sermon here.

You can earn 2 credits for reading the sermon. Simply read, fill out the Worksheet for an Article (you can download the worksheet from the Lessons tab, above) and submit it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit.

May your reading be blessed!