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|
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.
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:
- President: Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick (Saint Paul, Emmaus)
- Vice President: Rev. Dcn. Alexandros Petrides (St. Nicholas (GOA), Bethlehem)
- Treasurer: V. Rev. Protopresbyter Robert Rebeck (Protection of the Virgin Mary, Allentown)
- Secretary: Rev. Dcn. Michael Sawarynski (Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Northampton)
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.