Friday, September 30, 2005

Orthodoxy 101

Just what is the Orthodox Church? Some have called it the best kept secret in Christianity. In spite of being the church that can be traced to the Apostles and the second largest Christian organization in the world, most people have never heard of it, think it is part of the Roman Catholic Church, or think it is another religion entirely

The Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith is so full and rich that it is very difficult to explain briefly! This series of articles can only scratch the surface of a Faith that is so powerful, life giving, and life changing. Our prayer is that while reading this overview; the Holy Spirit will bear witness in your heart to the truth that is contained here. The word "Orthodox", means "Correct Glory"; and may the pure message of Orthodox Christianity glorify the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, our God, and Savior now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

"Eastern Orthodox Christianity - Telling the truth since 33 AD"

The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church is the "Mother Church" of Christianity. We can trace
our Bishops all the way back to the Twelve Disciples of Jesus Christ. The birthday of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church is 33 AD. We have remained in unity of belief since the day of Pentecost 33 AD. In the year 1054 AD, there was a great schism in the Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. This division caused the One Church to be divided. The Roman Catholic Church, under the (Pope of Rome) began at this schism; and the Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church has remained on course and unchanged to this present day. Both the Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church and the Roman Catholic Church have Apostolic Succession, because until 1054 AD, we were the same Church. We (The Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church), are the original, "changeless" Church that Jesus Christ founded with His Disciples. Our purpose is to properly worship the Holy Trinity in spirit and in truth and to preserve our Eastern Orthodox Faith as a "pearl of great price" for all future generations, until the Glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God, and Savior.

WHAT DO WE STAND FOR?

Since our faithful need to know our position; we state, without reservation, that we stand for the Truth! We bear witness to the Faith once delivered to the Saints (St. Jude 3). Our Church strictly upholds the ancient Christian faith and we are a valid branch of the pure and unadulterated Early Orthodox Christian Church. We follow and teach everything that Christ and His Church taught in the Scriptures, in oral Tradition, in the Nicene Creed, in the Seven Ecumenical Councils and in the writings of the Church Fathers.

We are not exclusivists, we are not Gnostic in any sense of the word, and it is necessary for us to state that we have no "inside track" to the Truth. We have only the Truth revealed to us, through our Apostolic Succession and through Holy Traditions (including the Scriptures) in the Orthodox Church of the ages.

In future articles we will examine various aspects of the Orthodox Faith and attempt to answer questions that a newcomer or an inquirer might have.

In the meantime you can read more about Orthodoxy and our diocese (THEOCUS) by going to the following website: http://www.st-seraphim.com/creed_explain.htm

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Word From our Bishops

Let us first offer our sincere gratitude to the Lord that our prayers were heard and that the impact of hurricane Rita was not as bad as it could have been. More prayers are needed now for the many lives that have been impacted by the two hurricanes. Material property can always be replaced, buildings and cities can be rebuilt, but the most devastating of all is the loss of life that's occurred. The loss of loved ones will cause emotional pain long after everything has been rebuilt. Pray that those who have suffered the loss of loved ones will be filled with faith and comfort, knowing that their loved ones are safe, happy, and in the constant care of our loving God.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Food Pantry Feeds Local Hungry

HIGH POINT, NC- St. Seraphim’s food pantry continues to be one of the parish’s most critical outreach programs, collecting food and distributing it to the needy. The ministry is a joint effort of St. Seraphim of Sarov Eastern Orthodox Christian Church and St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church.

On the second Saturday of each month parishioners from St. Seraphim’s and St Christopher’s pack and distribute the food. Thanks not only to those who pack and distribute the food, but those who do the shopping and logistics ahead of time and of course to any and all whose donations of food and finances make this ministry possible.

The food bank is an ongoing ministry and appreciates donations of non-perishable food and funds. See St. Seraphim’s website for more information on how you may participate in this outreach.

Welcome

Welcome to Aquiring the Spirit, the new online newsletter of our diocese. It is my goal for this to be a place where our parishes can share news and events with each other and others.

If you have any questions or comments about a story, would like to know more about THEOCUS, or learn more about Orthodoxy, please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank You

Editor Nicholas