A New Era in Evangelism and Outreach

“What are we doing about outreach to the Black community?" From the OCA Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Saturday, July 1, 2017, saw an historic event in the life of the Diocese of New York – New Jersey: the ordination of Subdeacon Samuel Davis, of Somerset, NJ, to the Holy Diaconate. While diaconal ordinations are not necessarily historic, Deacon Samuel is the first – ever – African-American to be ordained to this office in the history of the Diocese, and he is leading the planting and development of St. Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission in New Brunswick, NJ, an inner-city mission working on reaching inner-city Blacks and Hispanics. The … [Read more...]

Conversions Gradually Transforming Orthodox Christianity

by Jonathan Pitts Growing up a Southern Baptist in eastern Tennessee, Brent Gilbert says, he never realized there were other ways to worship. He figured everyone knew the best church music was contemporary. He was sure there was a 45-minute pastor's sermon at the heart of every Sunday service. And didn't all Christians agree that religious art, symbols and rituals were relics of a less desirable past? Then he encountered the ancient faith that would change his life. In the formal liturgy, rituals and language of the Greek Orthodox Church, he found a worship tradition so enriched by its direct link to lives of Christ's original followers … [Read more...]

The Last First Step

by Stephen Brannen Back in 2011 I started writing a series of posts entitled “According to the Whole” which was focused on exploring the issue of Christian disunity and where I was looking for possible solutions. The posts were personal and were informed by my own intellectual and experiential journey, but they weren’t overtly autobiographical. I used them to ask questions, make diagnoses, and offer prescriptions in a general sense, but I didn’t use them to tell much of my story. Now my story which spawned those questions and thoughts has reached a definitive point, even a conclusion of sorts, and I want to finally tell it. I was born to … [Read more...]

Three Truths from Childhood

by Fr Andrew Philips I'd like to thank Tudor Petcu once again for sending us this new journey story.  Introduction Most say that our earliest years are our most formative years, when all else is decided, and that much depends on the happiness or unhappiness of childhood, which determines all that follows. For my part, over six childhood years, between the ages of six and twelve I learned three truths, all the essential realities, that have shaped the rest of my life. You may argue with how I have interpreted those truths, interpretations patterned also by other events and meetings, but I do not think that the truths themselves can be … [Read more...]