More Than Just Me and Jesus

by Simon and Ira Scionka I’ve discovered that there is more to my faith than just me and Jesus. My name is Simon Scionka and my wife Ira and I have been at Holy Theophany Orthodox Church since December of 2003. My wife Ira is from Russia and due to her god-fearing babushka, she was baptized in secret as a baby during the communist regime. Ira grew up in the Orthodox faith. My coming to Orthodoxy came much later in my life after time spent in Russia but then really discovering Orthodoxy here in America at Holy Theophany Church. … [Read more...]

O Lord, Establish This Vineyard

by Fr. Seraphim Bell Things have been shaking at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in San Jose, California. Worship here has taken on a whole new dimension. As pastor, I still prepare for worship by focusing my heart through private prayer. But no longer do I conclude those prayers by tuning my guitar and rehearsing the “praise band” before the service. Instead of donning jeans, tennis shoes, and a sport shirt I now put on flowing white liturgical vestments. I’m not trying to come off as “one of the guys” any more. Instead, I am conscious of the dignity of my ordination into the priesthood, and my calling to serve as the image … [Read more...]

327 Baptized Orthodox in Zimbabwe

Through the blessing of Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All of Africa, Metropolitan George of Zimbabwe conducted today, December 30th, three hundred and twenty-seven baptisms for catechumens in the parish of St. Nektarios in Harare. The majority of the converts were youth and young adults who had completed a catechism class over the past 12 months. Following the lengthy baptismal service, clothes and shoes were distributed to over a thousand men, women and children who belong to the parish. Those attending the baptismal service were Protopresbyter George Saganis from Athens, and the African priests Fr. Raphael Gada, … [Read more...]

African-American Orthodoxy

by Dr. Albert J. Raboteau Professor Raboteau is one of the nation's foremost authorities on African-American religious history, and the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University. He chaired the Princeton Department of Religion from 1987 to 1992 and served as dean of the Graduate School in 1992–93. Dr. Raboteau is a convert to the Orthodox Church, and helped found the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church (OCA), which is attended by several Princeton students and other community members. When I was considering becoming Orthodox, a friend and fellow historian of African-American religion asked me if … [Read more...]