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Orthodox Christian Missions

Archive for December 2009

Podcasts: Death to the World and Orthodox House

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Last July, Kevin Allen of the Illumined Heart podcast on Ancient Faith Radio interviewed members of the ‘zine Death to the World about their time at Cornerstone 09, one of the largest Christian rock festivals in the world. That podcast can be found here.

More recently, AFR has a special feature on The Orthodox House, which is student housing on the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign campus for Orthodox students. That can be heard here.

Lastly, while this isn’t directly linked to contemporary missions, but does include some historical missions and lessons which perhaps could be drawn for today, Matthew Namee has an excellent and fascinating podcast on American Orthodox history. That can be found here. Matthew is also a member of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas, where he is quite active on their website/blog.

Written by Stephen

December 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Interview: Spanish-Speaking Orthodoxy

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Fr. Antonio Perdomo, of St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church in Pharr, Texas, recently spoke briefly on the Orthodox Christian Network about the Orthodox Church in Mexico and Latin America, and reaching out to Spanish speakers. He can be heard here, with Fr. Antonio’s portion beginning about halfway through the podcast.

The website for St. George the Great Martyr Church also contains a lot of information and links about Spanish Orthodoxy and Orthodox resources in Spanish.

The picture is of Fr. Antonio with food from their church’s food pantry for needy people.

Written by Stephen

December 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Interview, Spanish

Theological Courses in Hamburg

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The Following are two press releases, from Oct. 26, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009.

Orthodox Theological catechetical courses to be opened in Hamburg

The evening two-year Orthodox Theological Catechetical courses for laymen are to be opened in Hamburg with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Professors of the Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian University will teach will be teaching at the courses.

The graduates, except auditors, will get the certificate that would allow them to teach Orthodoxy in the schools in the German land that adopted legislation on such studies. The enrolment will last till 15 November 2009.

The opening of the Orthodox Catechetical courses will take place at the Church of St. John of Kronstadt in Hamburg on 26 November 2009. For details visit http://www.hamburg-hram.de.

Theological and Catechetical Courses for Laity Launched in Hamburg

Theological and catechetical courses for laity were inaugurated on Nov. 26 at the Church of St. John of Kronstadt in Hamburg. The lay courses have been organized with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia who instructed the faculty of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University to help the Hamburg community in implementing the project. Archpriest Vladimir Vorobyev, rector of St. Tikhon’s University, officiated at the prayer service for the commencement of the courses.

Present were clergy from fraternal Orthodox communities in Hamburg and other cities in Germany as well as representatives of other Christian confessions and various public organizations.

According to the website of the Church of St. John of Kronstadt in Hamburg, the curriculum of the theological-catechetical course provides for two-year studies. At present, over 60 people have been enrolled in the course.

Source: Moscow Patriarchate’s Dept. of External Church Affairs Website, here and here.

The picture is of St. John of Kronstadt Church in Hamburg.

Written by Stephen

December 4, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Germany, Russia, Seminary

Moscow Patriarchate in Singapore

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An oblique view of Holy Dormition Parish in Singapore.

The Modern Russian and His Religion: Yen Feng learns why Russians in Singapore want their children to have faith.

Nov. 27, 2009

THE limited popularity of Singapore’s Russian Orthodox Church calls to attention the uneasy relationship modern Russians have with religion.

Since it was set up two years ago, Russian Orthodox Church members have increased from 10 to 100, but that is still only a small fraction of the 3,000 Russians who live here.

Most churchgoers are professionals in their 30s or 40s, with young families. Last Sunday, a quarter of the 40 devotees in church were under 12-years-old.

History, from 1922 to 1991, gives an insight into why Russians remain tentative about practising their faith.

For 70 years in the Soviet Union, the Party regarded religion as an ideological rival to Communism. Churches were flattened, or converted into prisons and warehouses.

Historians estimate as many as 20 million Christians killed or thrown into labour camps and mental hospitals. Many fled. Those who stayed were re-baptised as Communists. Lenin became their new god.

Mr Evgeny Shmelev, born in 1975, had not stepped into a church until 2006. A newborn converted the born-again Christian.

The recent father, who now goes to church weekly with his three-year-old son, said: “I want my boy to know religion. It will be a good guide for his life.”

To church member Sergeui Zagriatski, it was both paternal and romantic love that opened his heart to the holy connection.

The self-professed Christian confessed it was not until he met his Singaporean wife (who converted to Russian Orthodox) that he became religious.

The Holy Spirit, he said, has helped him become more grounded, and he wishes the same for his two young daughters.

“When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, it was a time of maximum spiritual emptiness,” said the 34-year-old, who moved to Singapore two years ago.

“It was complete devastation, a collapse of all references. After going through such a vacuum, I would like my daughters to have some moral and religious reference points they can use later in their lives.”

On Sunday, the children obediently took turns to offer their sacrifice of lit candles – no easy feat for those who were shorter than the candle-stand.

Even though the service was conducted in Church Slavonic, an old language used nowhere else besides in Orthodox prayers, Sasha, Mr Zagriatski’s five-year-old Eurasian daughter, took to the syllables easily, with practice.

Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, Russia, who founded the Church here in 2007, described it earlier this month as fundamental to the modern man.

“For many Russians today, religion is like bread and love – it is basic.”

But if the young families of the Orthodox Church are representative of their generation, the modern Russian’s re-introduction to religion will require first filial love as a matchmaker.

Those who were parents and grandparents in the Soviet Empire remember giving up their faith to protect their young.

It makes sense that generations later, when parents themselves, modern Russians will recover what was lost to do the same.

Source: The Straits Times

Hat Tip to ROCOR Unity

Written by Stephen

December 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Russia, Singapore