A Native American Prayer – We will fly on wings like eagles

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NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

ALASKA OF MY HEART

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A Native American Prayer

We will fly on wings like eagles

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Dear God

I bow my head

and ask,

If it be Thy will,

please save this land

from those who seek

to destroy it.

-Amen-

Source:

https://www.facebook.com/Native-American-Orthodox-Christian-Fellowship-NAOCF-160917590660985/HERE

FACEBOOK: NATIVE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP (NAOCF)

So we are truly on a wing and prayer. What an incredible symbol. When I was in Alaska as part of Alaska Team 2001 sent by the Orthodox Christian Missionary Center (http://www.ocmc.org) I saw a bald eagle, everyday, and if I saw one, I ALWAYS saw three minimum.

I’ve always loved our national symbol and spending the time that I did in Alaska gave me such a feeling of peace and love for this land in which I was born and for it’s Native Peoples that I can’t even express. Seeing Eagles everyday gave me a feeling like I was sharing my experience with them.

I am aware that such atrocities were committed against the Indigenous Populations here in both North & South America (let’s not forget the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as well), by Western Europeans in the name of God and of “Progress”. While Alaskans were not totally exempt from all that, it should be noted that the Orthodox Church in Alaska more often helped and protected the Alaskans (where & when they could).

Anyone who is interested can check out our website at: http://www.NAOCF.org for more information and through that site you can reach out to our Spiritual Adviser Fr. Thomas Andrew who is a Native Yupik Priest. Also, I’ll refer you to a PDF of our Journal (also available on our website) in particular an article written by Fr. Michael Oleksa, another Native Priest living and serving in Alaska. They are just two of the Native clergy serving Our Lord and their People in the North.

 

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Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA: From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

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USA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

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Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA:

From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I grew up unchurched. I became a Christian in high school through reading the Living Bible. I was active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Hawaii. My home church was Kalihi Union Church (KUC), a fine evangelical congregation that was part of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

I was deeply troubled by the UCC’s liberal theology and wanted to help it return to its biblical roots. This led me to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for the purpose of preparing to become an evangelical seminary professor in the liberal United Church of Christ to help the UCC return to its biblical roots.

However, in a surprising turn of events, I became Orthodox!

It was my first week at seminary. As I walked down the hallway of Main Dorm I saw on the door of one of the student’s room an icon of Christ. I thought to myself,

“An icon in a Calvinist seminary!?!”

This was to be the first of many encounters with Eastern Orthodoxy.

After receiving my M.A. in Church History, I did doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. While there I attended Saints Kyril and Methodios Bulgarian Orthodox Church. I was drawn to the deep mystical worship of liturgical worship that was rooted in the historic Christian Faith. I also felt comfortable with its all-English services and a congregation that was made up mostly of converts. Orthodox worship presents a stark contrast to the emotionally driven entertainment that passes for contemporary Evangelical worship.

My journey to Orthodoxy began when little questions about Protestant theology turned into big questions, and the big questions turned into a theological crisis. Protestant theology holds up so long as one accepts certain premises but becomes problematic when considered from the standpoint of church history and the early Church Fathers. As a church history major I became painfully aware that much of what passes for Evangelicalism: the altar call, the symbolic understanding of the Lord’s Supper, the inductive bible study method, minimalist creed, the rapture, all have their origins in the 1800s.

This means that Evangelicalism is a modern innovation as is Liberalism.

But more troubling was my investigation of classical Reformation theology, e.g., Martin Luther and John Calvin. Two foundational tenets of Protestantism: sola fide (faith alone) and sola scriptura (Bible alone), were not part of the early Church and rely upon reading the Bible in a certain way. Moreover, these two tenets originated out of the theological debates of Medieval Scholasticism. In other words, the Protestant Reformation marks not a return to the historic Christian Faith, but rather a late innovation.

What makes Orthodoxy so daunting to an Evangelical is its understanding that to have the true Faith means belonging to the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. If the Orthodox Church is the true Church, then that meant that I needed to resign my membership from Kalihi Union Church and become Orthodox. I was received into the Orthodox Church on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1999 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Honolulu. I am very grateful for what I have learned from Evangelicalism but there is so much more to Christianity. Orthodoxy is the fulfillment of Evangelical theology and worship.

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA

Link: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA

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http://holytrinityrs.org

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

in Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox
405 N St, Rock Springs, WY 82901, USA

Click here

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Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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“NATIVE AMERICANS MAY BECOME

THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.”

An interview with His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/33241.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

In early December of 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church of America) visited Russia to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the OCA’s representation in Moscow. Correspondent Miguel Palacio took the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Jonah about the OCA’s presence in Latin America.

– Your Beatitude, in which Latin America countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

– Our jurisdiction extends to Mexico. We used to have parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela as well, but one of them joined the Russian Church Abroad, while others simply closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the American Orthodox Church. We would be happy to receive these faithful people, but there would be no one to take care of them because we have very few clergymen who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

One priest, who I hope will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador, in the city of Guayaquil, where there is a large Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, his good initiative has fizzled out. I have heard that many Palestinians also live in Central American countries, one of which is El Salvador. It is curious, but they do not go to the Antiochian parishes, and are requesting to be received under our omophorion.

The Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates prefer to pastor the Greek and Arab diasporas. We do not understand this. The Church should give pastoral care first of all to Continue reading “Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church”

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico

Source:

http://orthodox-culture.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX CULTURE

Thirteen years ago, when I undertook the (then newly-established) Holy Metropolis of Mexico with only three priests and three mainly Greek-speaking communities, in Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, I would never have expected, let alone conceive the miracle that is unfolding today for our Orthodox Church in Latin America. We all lived the miracle of Cuba, when Fidel Castro’s government undertook the construction of the Sacred Temple of Saint Nicholas in Havana and officially received Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated the inauguration of that Holy shrine in January of 2004. In the decade that passed, we experienced the propagating of our faith in the states of Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, etc… just as we experienced – and continue to experience – the continuing drama of the people of Haiti, after the catastrophic earthquake of last January. A drama which unfortunately will heal, only after several years have passed.

Greece became acquainted with Christianity and lived its own Pentecost around two thousand years ago, through the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles. Greece is the most Continue reading “Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy”

The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Whenever someone speaks of “American Orthodoxy,” there is usually an unspoken understanding that the term refers to North American Orthodoxy: the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. This way of speaking is indeed convenient, considering that the majority of Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere are still located in North America. However, in the past few years a great change has occurred in Latin America that makes it increasingly inaccurate to focus on North America as the western outpost of Orthodoxy. Just two years ago, in 2010, the Orthodox Church received a large group of Guatemalan converts numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Now Guatemala, and possibly all of Latin America, holds tremendous promise of becoming fertile ground for the Orthodox Christian Church.

The seed of Orthodoxy in Guatemala was planted by the nuns of the Hogar Rafael Ayau, an Orthodox orphanage in Guatemala City. Many people are familiar with the incredible work of Mother Inés, Mother Ivonne, and Mother María. In fact, just this year a group of seminarians from St. Vladimir’s Seminary traveled with the seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield to see the work of the nuns and to assist at the orphanage. It is through these nuns that the Guatemalan soil was first prepared for the Orthodox Church.

Now, with the recent chrismation of a new group of Guatemalan converts that numbers between 100,000 and 200,000, the Orthodox Church is ready to blossom in Guatemala. The magnitude of the event cannot be overstated. Almost overnight, Guatemala has become the most Orthodox country in the Western Hemisphere (by percentage of national population). Furthermore, the Orthodox communities in Guatemala continue to grow rapidly and attract attention throughout Guatemala. There is still, however, little information available to the broader Orthodox world on the history and character of these new communities. For this reason, I traveled to Guatemala this summer, spending two months visiting many of the Orthodox parishes, meeting the leaders of the communities, and accompanying the bishop of the Guatemalan Church—His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras—as he made his historic first visit to the new parishes in Guatemala. I returned to the United States with the desire to share what I saw and the conviction that the Holy Spirit is at work with power in Latin America…

Two Quechua Women from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

RUSSIA OF MY HEART

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Two Quechua Women

from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Here is a story of the good work of the martyred priest, Fr. Daniil Sysoyev (+2009).

Immediately following Christmas services, in one of the Orthodox churches in the southern districts of Moscow, two women of the Quechua people of South America accepted Orthodox baptism.

“We talked with them about the faith, and they read the Creed of the Orthodox Church in Spanish, which I downloaded for them from the Internet”,

said Fr Daniil Sysoyev, the rector of the parish of St Thomas the Apostle in Kantemirov, in an interview with our Interfax-Religion correspondent, describing how he served the Sacrament of Baptism for these women.

According to Fr Daniil, the two women from Bolivia, a mother and daughter, who accepted baptism, were in Moscow pursuing studies. They learned about the Orthodox faith from one of their friends, who is of the Inca people from Peru and a long-term resident of Moscow.

In baptism, the women took the names of Maria and Yelizaveta, in honour of St Mary Magdalene and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta the New Martyr.

“Quite possibly, this is the first time in history that Quechua people embraced Orthodoxy”, Fr Daniil noted.