Archive for May, 2013

For Teens: Christopher Shadid’s Summary of Sanctity of Life Issues in “God with Us, Critical Issues in Christian Life and Faith” by Fr. John Breck

Christopher Shadid wrote this a while back, when he was in Teen Soyo; his home Parish,  St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, PA, where he grew up. He is now a Orthodox Christian seminarian. The essay deals with abortion and other bioethical issues from Fr. John Breck’s God With Us:  Critical Issues in Christian Life and Faith. To access:

A two minute You Tube Presentation: the Celebration of Christopher Shadid going to Seminary: 


IOCC in Ethiopia serving persons with disability

Timkat Festival

 Beyond simply giving money, the International Orthodox Christian Charities provides people the tools, such as job and skill training, which enable people to provide for themselves and be fruitful. They are doing this in Ethiopia. Read the story of Habtamuwale the umbrella repairman and see his work!

To access:  Job Training Benefits Ethiopia’s Disabled 

Picture from JOURNEYS International: Ethiopia Part 1- Timkat Festival 

IOCC in the Holy Land

The Four Homes of Mercy, in Bethany, near Jerusalem, which was the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, which were profiled in this weblog in October through the eyes of his Eminence Metropolitan Savas Sembillas, who accompanied a good number of Orthodox Christian college students for Real Break: Jerusalem 2010 to the Holy Land and a time of service and interaction at these homes,  came to a time of severe financial shortfall recently.

After 73 years of existence, would they have to close their doors? Where would the residents, who had disabilities which preclude independent functioning, possibly go?

Thank God, the International Orthodox Christian Charities, in partnership with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, stepped in with a grant, so that the dear people who depend on this ministry may remain in what for them is home,  a place of mercy. Not many institutions are that way, unfortunately, and even in these, bed space is at a premium in this needy land.  

Read the story of one of the residents, Suma, in the following IOCC article: IOCC Assists the Holy Land’s Disabled  

And here is the website of Four Homes of Mercy 

Picture from Embrace the Middle East: The Four Homes of Mercy 

Christ Is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing eternal life!

  “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! (St. Luke 24:1-6a)

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  . . . . then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 54b)

But for you who fear my name the Sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in [His] wings, You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6a)

The Orthodox Church has now entered into the Paschal Season, in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, as well as our own, for Christ’s resurrection brings for us our resurrection. Our Lord has defeated death by death. As He arose with a transformed body with which He could both eat fish and enter through closed doors, we will one day rise with new bodies, with capabilities beyond our present ability to conceive. Glory to Thee, our God, Glory to Thee!

“It is the day of the Resurrection! Let us adorn ourselves with the splendor of the festival and embrace one another! And let us say, O brethren, even unto those who hate us: ‘Let us forgive all things at the Resurrection, and thus let us cry out: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!’”


Paschal Hymn, by St. Ephrem the Syrian

I fall in adoration at your feet, Lord!
I thank you, God of goodness;
God of holiness, I invoke you,
on my knees, in your sight.

For me, an unworthy sinner,
you have willed to undergo the death of the cross,
setting me free from the bonds of evil.

What shall I offer in return for your generosity?

Glory to you, friend of men!
Glory to you, most merciful!
Glory to you, most patient!
Glory to you who forgive sin!
Glory to you who have come to save us!
Glory to you who have been made man in the womb of a Virgin!
Glory to you who have been bound!
Glory to you who have been scourged!
Glory to you who have been derided!
Glory to you who have been nailed to the cross!
Glory to you, laid in a sepulchre, but risen again!
Glory to you who have preached the Gospel to men and have been believed!
Glory to you who have ascended to heaven!
Glory to you, seated at the right hand of the Father and who will return with him, in majesty, among the angels, to judge those who have disregarded your passion!

The powers of heaven will be shaken;
all the angels and archangels, the cherubim and seraphim
will appear in fear and trembling before Your glory;

the foundations of the earth will quake
and all that has life will cry out before Your majesty.

In that hour let your hand draw me beneath Your wings,
and save me from the terrible fire, from the gnashing of teeth,
from the outer darkness and from despair without end.
That I may sing to Your glory:

Glory to Him who through His merciful goodness has designed to redeem this sinner.

Icon from The Bondservant


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