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What is Orthodox Christianity?

A three-part movie exploring Orthodox Christianity entitled "What is Orthodox Christianity" by Fr. Daniel Mackay
is available for viewing HERE.

After 29 Years of Faithful Service, Father John Kowalczyk Resigns as Chancellor

After 29 years of tireless service to the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania in the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and finally Chancellor, Father John Kowalczyk will step down from his position effective September 1, 2015. In addition to his duties with the Diocese, Fr. John is the secretary of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), works as a Minister for SCI Waymart, has taught at St. Tikhon's Monastery, as well as having the primary responsibility of pastor at St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church in Jermyn. We thank Fr. John for his many years of wisdom and leadership. May God Grant him Many Years! His Eminence, Archbishop MARK, has released a statement which can be read HERE.

Father Martin Browne has been appointed as the new Chancellor of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, effective September 1, 2015. His Eminence, Archbishop MARK, has released a statement which can be read HERE.

Proposed Diocesan By-Laws

The proposed Diocesan By-Laws have been revised and are now available. Members of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania are urged to review them. Our Deans will be scheduling a meeting in the coming months to discuss the Proposed Bylaws and Proposed Resolution to Transition to Proportional Giving in anticipation of our Diocesan Assembly in January. Your full participation and cooperation are needed to make for a productive and fruitful Assembly in January 2016.

Diocesan Council approves Proposed Resolution for the Transition to Proportional Giving Levels

On August 18th the Diocesan Council met at The Nativity of the Theotokos Church in Coaldale. Among the topics discussed was a recommendation by the Finance Committee concerning the transition to proportional giving from parishes to the Diocese in accordance with the resolution passed by the Diocesan Assembly in 2008. A report explaining the resolution has been posted. Included with the report is an online calculator to aid in this process READ THE REPORT HERE

Diocesan Finance Committee Releases Standardized Parish Financial Report

The Diocesan Finance Committee has developed a standardized Microsoft Excel Parish Financial form for Parishes in the Diocese to make their monthly with. Please download the form HERE. 

18th All-American Council Minutes, PowerPoint Presentations, Available for Review

Approved minutes of the 18th All-American Council are now available on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America.  Also available are the AAC PowerPoint presentations.

Reading the notes about the Revised Statutes and The Resolution regrading supporting the work of the church will be helpful to understand  the Proposed Diocesan By-Laws we will present in January and Proportionate Giving.  Over the next few months we will be having meetings within each deanery to present and discuss these two important changes for the good of our church.

Archpastoral Message Regarding Fr. George Volkovinsky

His Eminence, Archbishop MARK, has released a message regarding the pending immigration status of the Diocesan Clergy member, Fr. George Volkovinsky. An appeal has been made to aid in this worthwhile endeavor. Please read the appeal and lend assistance if you can.

Proposed Templates for Parish By-Laws / Constitutions

Christ is in our midst!

Here you will find two "Proposed Templates" for parishes desiring to adopt a set of By-Laws or Constitutions where there are none or update them in cases where the old By-Laws are incongruent with the Revised Statutes of the Orthodox Church in America or simply out of date. We welcome feedback on these "Proposed Parish By-Laws."  According to Federal Law regulating Non-Profit Organizations, every Non-Profit must have a set of By-Laws and follow them.  Those who do not endanger their tax exempt status.  
Additionally, we encourage every parish to develop a Mission Statement for their parish and specifically identify ways they intend to fulfill their missionary calling and submit it to the Diocese for approval.

By Laws            Constitution

+ Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania


The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released a new study report focusing on Orthodox Christian Fellowship

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released a new study report. The report focuses on Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official collegiate campus ministry program of the Assembly. OCF plays a critical role in the lives of young Orthodox adults who study at US colleges and universities. Strong OCF chapters can provide a vital connection for youth to the Orthodox Church and stem the tide of students who leave the Orthodox Faith while in college. For the study, student leaders were surveyed in 130 OCF chapters. What types of challenges do OCF chapters face? What are their needs? What does it take to be a successful and vibrant OCF chapter? The report answers these and other questions from the viewpoints of active student OCF leaders. Read the full report HERE. Access summaries and links to all of the Assembly's research reports HERE.

Archbishop MARK's Message to the Diocese regarding the Synodal Affirmation of the Mystery of Marriage

His Eminence, MARK, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, has released a message in response to the United States Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriages. Read His Eminence's message HERE.

Assembly of Bishops launches national study on giving in US parishes

An ongoing national study — “Exploring Orthodox Generosity: Giving in US Orthodox Parishes” — has been launched by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. “We need and invite as many pariticipants as possible,” said Alexei D. Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator. “Both Orthodox clergy and laity are invited to take part in this unique project.”

The study is being conducted as an on-line survey and may be accessed here.

National Study of US Orthodox Churches

 Mr. Alexei Krindatch, Research Coordinator for the Assembly of Bishops, invites the parishes of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania to participate in a "National Study of US Orthodox Parishes."  You can review the survey questionnaire at THIS LINK.  Please share that link with other parishes and Orthodox Brethren and encourage their participation in the Study.  If you have any questions concerning this, please direct them to Mr. Krindatch.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Diaconal Formation Program in Philadelphia is Announcing Enrollment for the Upcoming School Year

 Diaconal Formation Program of St. Tikhon's Seminary based in Phiadelphia, PA is open for enrollment for the Fall Semester 2015. The program immerses students in the life of the Orthodox Church through serving in the altar, singing in the choir, and studying Scripture, Church History, Liturgics, and Spirituality. The Diaconal Formation program meets every Saturday from September to December (Fall Semester) and January to May (Spring Semester). Completion of the course of studies fulfills the necessary academic requirements for ordination to the Holy Diaconate. (In accordance with Canon Law, all decisions regarding ordination rest with the diocesan hierarch.) Men among the laity interested in pursuing theological study, spiritual formation, and liturgical training, and sense they might be called to the diaconal ministry, are encouraged to consider applying to this program and seek guidance from their parish priest. Click here or on photo for flyer.


June Events at Agia Sophia

Events for July 2015 at the Agia Sophia Coffehouse have been updated. Thank you for your continued support!

Fr. Alexis Trader: Being Christian in a Post-Christian World

The following link will take you to a series of four guest posts from Fr. Alexis Trader, a priestmonk and spiritual father of Karakallou Monastery on the Holy Mountain, and author of In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord: An Orthodox Interpretation of the Gifts of the Spirit.

Fr. Alexis has recently released a new book and it is about his new book that he now writes.  CLICK HERE TO READ

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