A Ministry of the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST LIVED IN THE ANCIENT ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN TRADITION | The Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania has been home to Orthodox Christians for more than a century and includes nine culturally diverse Orthodox Christian worshiping communities, along with four other associated communities in our region, shining the light of Jesus Christ throughout the valley and beyond. We welcome you to discover Christ in the timeless Biblical traditions of the Orthodox Church.

...that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)


April 6: Retreat with Dr. Christopher Veniamin


Lenten Retreat
Sunday, April 6th 2014

With Author and Patristic scholar
Dr. Christopher Veniamin

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
1607 West Union Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

3PM Lecture with Q&A
The Power of Repentance:The Ethos of ‘Metanoia’ in the Orthodoax Church

4:30PM Lecture with Q&A
The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation:’Theosis’ in St. Silouan The Athonite and Elder Sophrony of Essex

5:30PM Complimentary lenten meal

6PM Vespers


April 10: Campbell Lectures at DeSales University to feature Orthodox and Roman Catholic speakers

LCCCFrom the website of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches:

Continuing the Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Dialogue

Thursday, April 10, 4PM – 8 PM

DeSales University

Cost $30 per person – Register now!


This year will see a “first” for the Robert K. Campbell Memorial Lectures on Christian Unity. Since its inception in 1993, the annual lectures have brought distinguished scholars and theologians to the Lehigh Valley. Each of the 21 previous presenters spoke eloquently from the perspective of their particular tradition on an aspect of Christian Unity.

We are excited to announce that on April 10, 2014, we will have two presenters, one Orthodox scholar and one Roman Catholic scholar addressing the doctrine of salvation from different theological and historical understandings. The evening discussion will focus on ideas for local ecumenism.


Dr. Vito Nicastro earned a B.A. with a double-major in History and in Religious Studies in 1989 from Brown University; an M. Div. with distinction from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1995; and a Ph.D. in History of Christian Life and Thought from Boston College in 2005. He has worked in Ecumenism since 1990 and published a book entitled From Division to Christian Unity. He is Associate Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. He serves on the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation which is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Christopher Veniamin was born and raised in London, England, of Greek Cypriot parents, is a spiritual child of Elder Sophrony of Essex, and Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, in Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the School of Theology in the University of Thessalonica, and holds a doctorate in Theology from Oxford University, where he studied under the Most Rev. Dr. Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia. His doctoral thesis, The Transfiguration of Christ in Greek Patristic Literature: From Irenaeus of Lyons to Gregory Palamas was a diachronic study of the meaning of the Transfiguration in Patristic theology, spanning a period of some thirteen centuries.

Apr. 5: Pan-Orthodox Lenten Marriage & Family Retreat


UPDATE: This event has unfortunately been canceled. We hope to reschedule at some point in the future.

DATE: April 5, 2014

SPEAKERS: Drs. David and Mary Ford of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

LOCATION: St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (1031 Fullerton Ave., Allentown, PA 18102)

10am-12pm: “Spiritual Life and Family Life” by Dr. Mary Ford

12pm-2pm: Lunch on your own

2-4pm: “The Glory of Marriage” by Dr. David C. Ford

6pm: Great Vespers

This Pan-Orthodox Retreat is designed for married couples, couples considering marriage, and families, including a long break for lunch so that parents of young children can “tag team,” if needed, for childcare purposes. The cost is $15 per couple or individual (includes both sessions). RSVP to St. Mary’s at (610) 432-2977 before Apr. 2, 2014.

Drs. David and Mary Ford both have taught at St. Tikhon’s Seminary since 1989 and are the co-authors of Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints. Dr. David is also author of Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, and Dr. Mary is the author of numerous published articles on Scripture.


Lehigh Valley Lenten Pan-Orthodox Services & Events 2014


The following Pan-Orthodox Lenten services and events will be held in and around the Lehigh Valley in 2014:

Sun., Mar. 9, 4pm Triumph of Orthodoxy St. Nicholas OCA, Bethlehem
Thur., Mar. 13, 6:30pm Holy Land Pilgrimage Lecture Holy Cross GOC, Stroudsburg
Thur., Mar. 20, 6:30pm Russia Pilgrimage Lecture Holy Trinity OCA, Stroudsburg
Sun., Mar. 23, 7pm Lenten Vespers St. Nicholas GOC, Bethlehem
Thur., Mar. 27, 6:30pm Mount Athos Lecture Holy Cross GOC, Stroudsburg
Sun., Mar. 30, 4pm Lenten Vespers Assumption BVM UOC, Northampton
Thur., Apr. 3, 6:30pm Bp. Mark’s Pilgrimages Lecture Holy Trinity OCA, Stroudsburg
Sat., Apr. 5, 10am-4pm Marriage/Family Retreat St. Mary UOC, Allentown
Wed., Apr. 9, 6:30pm Presanctifed Liturgy (followed by Lenten Potluck) St. Paul AOC, Emmaus
Thur., Apr. 10, 4-8pm Campbell Lectures (Orthodox & Catholic speakers) DeSales University, Center Valley

Standing-Room-Only Crowds Celebrate Sunday of Orthodoxy 2014 in the Lehigh Valley


On Sunday, March 9, 2014, at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a standing-room-only crowd of faithful Orthodox Christians and guests gathered along with His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of the Antiochian Archdiocese, seventeen priests and three deacons to celebrate the service of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. His Grace, Bishop THOMAS, was the featured speaker.

During the event, a number of pan-Orthodox events during the Lenten period were announced, along with the formation of a new pan-Orthodox, multi-parish lay and clergy group for the region, Lehigh Valley Orthodox Christians (LVOC). LVOC will serve to facilitate better communication and resource sharing between parishes and will eventually begin planning, hosting and executing pan-Orthodox events, as well.

Following the service and Bishop THOMAS’s address, the people of St. Nicholas Church greeted their fellow Orthodox Christians with warm hospitality in the parish hall for a shared Lenten meal. A collection was also taken up to support the work of the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood.

Watch this space for a full calendar of pan-Orthodox events, as well as more on the newly-formed LVOC.

Clergy Brotherhood elects officers, sets plans for 2014


On Thursday, Nov. 21 (Nov. 8 OS), on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos (NS) / Synaxis of the Archangels (OS), the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood met at the Top Diner in Allentown to elect officers and set plans for the coming year. Nine Fathers representing eight parishes were present.

The newly-elected officers of the brotherhood are:

With the election of officers, Fr. Andrew chaired the meeting, and the following plans were made for the coming year:

  • His Grace, Bishop THOMAS (Antiochian Archdiocese), will preside over pan-Orthodox services for the Sunday of Orthodoxy on March 9. A pan-Orthodox service will be held at 4pm at St. Nicholas (OCA) in Bethlehem, followed by a talk by Bishop THOMAS and a shared meal. On the following day, the Brotherhood plan to make a day pilgrimage to the Monastery of the Holy Protection in White Haven.
  • During Great Lent 2014, joint services will also be held on Mar. 23 and 30 (Lenten Sunday Vespers), as well as Apr. 9 (Presanctified Divine Liturgy). Locations will be announced.
  • Plans were begun to hold two pan-Orthodox Lenten retreats, one for men and one for women. Date, location and speakers will be announced.
  • Beginning in May 2014, monthly Holy Unction services will be held at the various parishes represented by the Brotherhood.

It was also announced that a new and active OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) chapter has been started at Lehigh University, led by Dcn. Alexandros Petrides. All Orthodox Christians and other interested parties are welcome at OCF events.

Further, Dcn. Alexandros, who assists Fr. Nicholas Palis at St. Nicholas (GOA) in Bethlehem, is scheduled to be ordained to the holy priesthood on Sunday, Dec. 8, by His Eminence, Metropolitan SAVAS.

There was also general discussion about goings-on at Lehigh Valley parishes and our representative jurisdictions as well as sharing of a more personal nature about family and other such matters.

The next meeting of the Brotherhood will be held on Dec. 19 at St. Paul in Emmaus.

Bishop Ignatius of Madagascar speaking in Bethlehem June 26


On Wednesday, June 26th at 7pm, His Grace, Bishop Ignatius (Sennis) of Madagascar will be speaking at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Bethlehem, doing a PowerPoint presentation and speaking on the Orthodox Christian missionary work being done on the African island of Madagascar. All are invited!

St. George Allentown New Year’s Eve Hafli

New Year’s Eve Hafli

Monday Dec. 31, 2012, 8pm

Roadway Inn & Conference Center, Allentown PA
Dinner, Mazza & Entertainment

Click HERE for Flyer, or call (610) 739-3698 or (610) 439-9972 for tickets and info.

Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church, 7pm Nov. 27

WHAT: “Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church”

WHO: Fr. John Chakos, OCMC Missionary to Guatemala

WHERE: St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral at 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA

WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, November 27

Fr. John Chakos will speak and lecture and will be available to meet the public and discuss the ministry to the people of Guatemala, some 100,000 to 200,000 of whom have recently converted en masse to Orthodox Christianity. This is a great opportunity to meet Fr. Chakos and hear about his efforts to establish the first Orthodox Seminary in Latin America.

FATHER JOHN CHAKOS is an OCMC Missionary to Guatemala, working under Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico City to help establish the first Orthodox Seminary in Latin America. He simultaneously is working with Fr. Andres Giron in helping tens of thousands of Mayan People enter into the Orthodox Church. Fr. John was the priest of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA, for 31 years. He and his wife Sandy served as short-term missionaries in Tanzania for six months, and spent three years in the slums of Brazil with the Peace Corps before becoming a priest.

Pan-Orthodox Thanksgiving Day Liturgy, 9am Nov. 22

Autumn in Emmaus

As part of its forty days of Divine Liturgies served during the Nativity Fast, St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral at 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA, has invited all Orthodox Christians of the Lehigh Valley and beyond to join them in Thanksgiving (Evcharistia) to God on Thursday, November 22, at 9am. The Liturgy will be served by Orthodox clergy of the Lehigh Valley.

To mark the beauty of this day of Thanksgiving, please read the following brief sermon from the departed Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who served his last Divine Liturgy on Thanksgiving in 1983 and preached this homily:

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.

May Fr. Alexander’s memory be eternal!

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