DES PLAINES, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — The 25th Anniversary of International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC] will be celebrated with a grand banquet and silent auction at Cafe La Cave, 2777 Mannheim Road, Des Plaines, IL on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Cocktails will be served at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.
NORMAL, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — His Grace, Bishop Paul installed Priest David Gresham as Rector of Holy Apostles Church here during his archpastoral visit on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, 2017, in conjunction with the celebration of the Raising of Lazarus.
During these days when we walk with our Lord Jesus Christ on the way to His voluntary Passion, we are filled with great sorrow at learning of the tragic news of yet another atrocity perpetrated against the innocent and peaceful Orthodox Christians of Egypt.
If the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Blessing the stream on the mission’s property on the Great Feast of Theophany.
Saint Juvenaly and His Companion Mission, Wasilla, AK, recently was awarded a second-year Church Planting Grant from the Orthodox Church in America.
“It has been a great help for our mission to receive this grant,” said Archpriest Mikel Bock, Priest-in-Charge, who has been a part of other missions that started with little and has witnessed how through consistent prayer and work they were able to grow. “This grant helps relieve some of the financial worries of the priest, so that more focus can be put into the mission, and all missions have their ups and downs.”
Fr. David Rucker conducts a mission seminar at St. Juvenaly Mission.
And Saint Juvenaly’s, like all missions, has had its ups and downs, Father Mikel added.
“When Saint Juvenaly’s was planted, it was said that anyone can build a building, but building a church begins inside each and every one of us,” Father Mikel continued. “The commitment that we make to Christ is to carry the message of the Gospel to as many as we can throughout our community—this is how a church grows. This same commitment to Christ and His church is what gets us through the ups and downs that take place.”
Father Mikel is quick to add that “this commitment we make also has to be long term, because it is very easy on the downside to get discouraged. We have to remember that if we are fulfilling Christ’s will, He will provide.
Faithful receive Communion during Vesperal Liturgy on Great and Holy Saturday 2017.
“Because of seasonal work, some months’ finances are good, while others not so good, but the Planting Grant offers the ability to focus on the work of the church, which helps the church become more stable and grow,” Father Mikel continued. “Many outreach programs have been established already, but the goal is to be more prominent in aiding those who are in need, whether the sick, less fortunate, or people in prison.”
Father Mikel noted that “one of the good things about having our own building is that we are able to hold services often. Throughout the year, we celebrate services for all the major and minor feasts, as well as for many of the saints’ commemorations, which helps bring the people together more often. We are fortunate to have a stream on the back of the property, with a warm spring, which is ideal for Theophany, no matter how cold it gets.”
As with all growing mission communities, the faithful of Saint Juvenaly’s anticipate ongoing work and ministry, from the spiritual to the physical.
Faithful celebrate Holy Pascha.
“The Planting Grant enables me to be available for the building up of the community, whether it be through the celebration of services and sacraments or for counseling, visits and talks,” Father Mikel said. “We visit the men’s prison—an hour and a half drive—three to five times every month, in addition to the women’s prison. And then there are always those things that need to be done around the church. The planting Grant has been a great help, and will continue to be a help in bringing the faith to the Wasilla area.”
“We are currently seeking photos depicting the beautiful interiors of our OCA churches,” said Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. “Selected photos will be featured in next year’s calendar. We also hope to receive photos taken throughout the liturgical year and interior photos taken from unique angles and perspectives.”
Each parish is invited to submit a maximum of three  high resolution photos, which should be sent as attachments to email@example.com. Please include the parish’s name and location, the name[s] of the parish clergy, and contact info.
“Photos selected for publication will be credited appropriately,” Father Sergius added. “We anticipate that 23,500 copies of the 2018 calendar will be printed.”
The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt — considered “spiritually powerful” by a large and widely diverse audience — will provide the basis for an exploration of the relationship between sound and the sacred at an upcoming international conference in the heart of New York City’s arts scene. Musicologists, art historians, performance artists, experts in architectural acoustics, and renowned scholars and theologians will gather for the event, titled “Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred”, May 1–4, 2017.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will be among the conference speakers. He will be offering theological reflections on the conference theme in a presentation titled “The Sound of Silence: The Appeal of Arvo Pärt to the Human Heart.”
The conference, which is open to the public, will be held in McNally Amphitheater at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 140 West 62 Street, New York, NY. Additionally, a public musical performance of Pärt’s music with the Goeyvaerts String Trio+, organist and Pärt scholar Andrew Shenton, and percussionist Yousif Sheronick, will be held on Wednesday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m., at Holy Trinity Church, 213 West 82 Street, New York, NY.
Other confirmed speakers and participants include Andrew Albin, Peter Bouteneff, Jeffers Engelhardt, Kevin C. Karnes, Alexander Lingas, Ivan Moody, Bissera Pentcheva, Robert Saler, Andrew Shenton, Toomas Siltan and Sevin Yarman. An exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier, a specialist in Pärt’s music and world-renowned choral conductor, will also be screened. Additionally, musical performances will be interwoven with presentations and discussion sessions.
“Arvo Pärt’s music is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred,” noted Professor Peter C. Bouteneff, Director of the seminary’s Sacred Arts Initiative and Arvo Pärt Project, “and although the composer’s own religious affiliation is Orthodox Christian, his music carries an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries, and even crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.
“Moreover, Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically — and more recently through the lens of spirituality — but it has not yet be studied in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment,” Prof. Bouteneff continued. “So, at this conference, we will seek to break new ground, in exploring how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.”