Fr. James Bernstein, New York, USA: Surprised By Christ – Priest’s Conversion from Judaism to Christianity Documented in New Memoir

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Fr. James Bernstein, New York, USA:

Surprised By Christ

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Priest’s Conversion from Judaism to

Christianity Documented in New Memoir

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

Surprised By Christ

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Conciliar Press Ministries is pleased to announce the release of a new spiritual memoir of a man’s conversion from Judaism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Raised in Queens, New York by formerly Orthodox Jewish parents whose faith had been undermined by the Holocaust, Arnold Bernstein went on a quest for the God he instinctively felt was there. He was ready to accept God in whatever form He chose to reveal Himself—and that form turned out to be Christ.

But Bernstein soon perceived discrepancies in the various forms of Protestant belief that surrounded him, and so his quest continued—this time for the true Church. With his Jewish heritage as a foundation, he came to the conclusion that the faith of his forefathers was fully honored and brought to completion only in the Orthodox Christian Church.

Surprised by Christ combines an engrossing memoir of one man’s life in historic situations—from the Six-Day War to the Jesus Movement in Berkeley—with a deeply felt examination of the distinctives of Orthodox theology that make the Orthodox Church the true home not only for Christian Jews, but for all who seek to know God as fully as He may be known.

The Rev. A. James Bernstein was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity. His spiritual journey has included a number of twists and turn: he was chapter president of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Queens College, helped found the Jews for Jesus ministry in San Francisco, was a staff member of the Christian World Liberation Front in Berkeley, served as a pastor of an Evangelical Orthodox Church near Silicon Valley, and later became an Eastern Orthodox convert and then priest. He lives with his wife Bonnie outside of Seattle, Washington, where he serves as pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church. Father James is the author of the booklets Orthodoxy: Jewish and Christian (Conciliar Press, 1990); Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament (CP, 1994); and Communion: A Family Affair (CP, 1999). He was also a contributor to the Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms (Thomas Nelson, 1993).

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Video: WWII Evacuation Memorial – St. Paul Island, Alaska, USA

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WWII Evacuation Memorial – St. Paul Island, Alaska, USA

Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands

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Fr. Meletios Webber

ENGLAND, USA, THE NETHERLANDS

Through Oxford To Orthodoxy

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/through-oxford-to-orthodoxy/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Archimandrite Meletios Webber, of Scottish background, was born in London, and received his Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University, England and the Thessalonica School of Theology, Greece. He also holds an E.D.D. (doctorate) in Psychotherapy from the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the author of two published books: Steps of Transformation; an Orthodox Priest Explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (Conciliar Press, 2003); and Bread and Water, Wine and Oil; an Orthodox Christian Experience of God (Conciliar Press, 2007).

This interview was originally published in Pravoslavnie.ru.

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Fr. Meletios, could you tell us a little about your journey to Orthodoxy in Oxford, and how you became a priest?

I went to Oxford as a theology student in 1968, and very quickly found an Orthodox Church there. The parish priest at the time was Fr. Kallistos Ware, who is now Metropolitan of Diokleia, and the deacon at the time was Fr. Basil Osborne, who is now Bishop of Amphipolis. The parish in Oxford was both a Russian and a Greek one, coexisting in a small room in what had once been the house of the famous Dr. Spooner. I was immediately attracted to the quality of the stillness that I found in that small room. That has been something that I have consistently valued in the Orthodox Church ever since. It is a quality which is difficult to talk about, but it happens when one goes into a Continue reading “Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands”

From Peruvian Paradise To Orthodox Priest – Fr. Peter Smith, Georgia, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Georgia, USA

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From Peruvian Paradise To Orthodox Priest

by

Fr. Peter Smith, Georgia, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Perhaps this journey to Orthodoxy really starts for me as a Roman Catholic college student.

The Newman Club was an interesting way to meet “people” [from a college student, you need to read “girls!”] and so I “joined” the Club. Soon, however, there was an instant shock wave through the Newman Club as the priest who was the coordinator and facilitator of the Club, came onto me and tried to “hook up” one evening in the rectory.

Well, that hastened a totally unceremonious departure and immediate exit from that entire scene and – believe it or not – started me on the road to the Orthodox Church.

As a direct result of that dark and traumatic evening the night before I left college I returned home. That summer, a wonderful British family was visiting my folks. They lived in Peru and were on holiday in New York. My father knew them through his position of Vice President of an international import/export firm dealing with companies in South America. After hearing about the recent happenings in my life, they invited my dad to let me spend a year with them in Peru!!

An intriguing and incredibly exciting doorway and escape was all set for me to walk through on my way to the Orthodox Church…though I had no idea of just how that would happen, since the Lord kept it completely hidden from me. At this point, I was really “far away” from God! After the Newman Club and college, I truly embraced the proposition of a year far away from the chaos of my life as it was. Ever since the disastrous and indelible exit from “the college that will live in infamy,” there was an abiding and almost gnawing sense that there indeed was a God… and He must be somewhere!!

My world totally and graphically changed during that exhilerating flight from New York City to Miami to Panama City, Panama to Quito, Ecuador to Lima, Peru. With the exception of that gnawing sense of the Lord’s presence somewhere within me, I spent quite a carefree and ‘bon-vivant’ life in and around Peru for about 6 months. The caring and incredibly generous British family with whom I lived in a wonderful penthouse apartment in Miraflores, Peru [a rather affluent and “international” section of suburban Lima] helped me acquire a teaching position, allowed me to almost exclusively use one of their several cars, subsidized a club membership to a magnificent private golf course, introduced me to several “unattached” and truly vivacious daughters of foreign dignitaries and brought me along on many of their day-long sailing ventures.

In brief, at 20 tender and inexperienced years of age, I was tending to believe that Paradise was my immediate neighborhood.

Life was sweet, available, enticing, totally satisfying and completely at my Continue reading “From Peruvian Paradise To Orthodox Priest – Fr. Peter Smith, Georgia, USA”

π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

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π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

Η συγκλονιστική ιστορία της ζωής του Εβραίου π. James Bernstein, που έπειτα από πολλές αναζητήσεις βρήκε τον δρόμο του Θεού και σήμερα είναι Κληρικός στην Ενορία του Αγίου Παύλου, κοντά στο Seattle της Washington των ΗΠΑ.

H ζωή του π. James Bernstein, ενός Ορθόδοξου Κληρικού της Μητρόπολης Βορείου Αμερικής, του Πατριαρχείου Αντιοχείας, θα μπορούσε να αποτελεί χωρίς κανέναν ενδοιασμό ιδανικό σενάριο κινηματογραφικής ταινίας.

Ο ίδιος, μεγαλωμένος στην Αμερική και γαλουχημένος με τις Εβραϊκές παραδόσεις, πέρασε από ατέλειωτα σκαμπανεβάσματα και πολλές διακυμάνσεις, ώστε, τελικά, βρήκε τις απαντήσειςσε όλα τα υπαρξιακά ερωτήματά του στην Ορθόδοξη Πίστη.

Ο πατέρας του, ο Ισαάκ, γεννήθηκε στις αρχές του 20ού αιώνα, συγκεκριμένα το 1909, στην Αγία Γη, στην παλιά πόλη της Ιερουσαλήμ, όπου και ανδρώθηκε ακολουθώντας την Ιουδαϊκή θρησκεία. Μάλιστα, θέλησε να αφιερωθεί και να γίνει Ραβίνος.

Το 1941 και ενώ ήταν σε εξέλιξη ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος ο ραβίνος και η σύζυγός του, μαζί με τα παιδιά τους, αποφάσισαν να πάρουν τον δρόμο της προσφυγιάς. Διάλεξαν το τελευταίο πλοίο, που είχε προορισμό την Αμερική, και ταξίδεψαν μέσω της Αιγύπτου και της νότιας οδού της Αφρικής, καθώς στη Μεσόγειο και στον Continue reading “π. James Bernstein, ΗΠΑ – Ο γιος του Ραβίνου που από Προτεστάντης έγινε Ιερέας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας”

Digital Natives Embrace Ancient Church – Twentysomethings captivated by Orthodoxy

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ORTHODOX WEB

Digital Natives Embrace Ancient Church

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Twentysomethings captivated by Orthodoxy

By

Andrea Goodell

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Tim Flinders will graduate from Grand Valley State University next month. Raised Lutheran, he also explored fundamentalist Baptism, Roman Catholicism and even Messianic Judaism before converting to Orthodox Christianity this year.

“Orthodoxy has completely transformed me already,” he said. “I feel like the first time in my life I’m growing spiritually.”

Flinders, 22, like many other young people converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, was looking for authenticity and historical accuracy in his Christian faith.

“I had so many different questions that needed to be answered,” said Flinders, who added he wrestled with the many divisions of the Christian church over the years.

He became Eastern Orthodox Christian at St. George Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids.

Recently he attended the second annual Encountering Orthodoxy Conference at Hope College.

The Rev. Deacon Nicholas Belcher, dean of students at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, gave the opening keynote address, using the themes of holy week to introduce Orthodoxy to the more than 50 who attended.

Eastern Orthodox Easter, Pascha in Greek — the language favored by Orthodox everywhere — fell on the same day as Western Easter this year.

Belcher described the nailing of Jesus to the cross as “one of the most cruel things human beings have ever thought of to do to other human beings.”

Eastern Orthodox Christians, he explained, experience the crucifixion and resurrection in the now during liturgy.

“There is no sense that we are just talking about something that happened a long time ago. It is today,” he said.

Dustin Miller, a Hope senior, attended the conference for extra credit in his history of Christianity class, but said,

“I’ve always been curious about Orthodoxy.”

He, too, said he was looking for the apostolic, historical roots of the Christian church. Miller considers himself non-denominational and said he didn’t know the Hope campus had Orthodox students.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out, trying to find what best fits me,” Miller said.

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship campus club, which sponsored this month’s conference, meets Thursday nights for Small Compline (a short Psalm and evening prayer service). Then the handful of Orthodox students, one seminary student and Fr. Steven VanBronkhorst discuss topics such as biblical foundations for Orthodox worship.

He would like to see more inquirers at the OCF meetings and more students at the second annual Encountering Orthodoxy Conference.

VanBronkhorst was a Reformed Church of America minister for almost two decades before coming to the Orthodox church 14 years ago. Still, VanBronkhorst said, he sees many more today looking for the historical church than when he was doing his own searching.

“I always felt that ideally there should be just one church,” he said. “The Orthodox church is by far the most historically faithful body. … Who is going to deny that the greater part of the evangelical world has the faith? They have faith. What they don’t have is the worship.”

Tyler Dykstra of Holland became Orthodox Christian this month.

He grew up Christian Reformed, but says he “wanted more.”

“Over time I started to realize there was so much history I had not known about even though I had gone to Christian schools all my life,” Dykstra, 24, said.

De qué manera podemos nosotros honrar a nuestros difuntos cercanos – San Juan Maximovich, EE.UU (+1966) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Spanish

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De qué manera podemos nosotros honrar a nuestros difuntos cercanos

San Juan Maximovich, EE.UU (+1966)

Fuente:

http://catecismoortodoxo.blogspot.gr – Aquí

CATECISMO ORTODOXO

Vemos a menudo la tendencia que tienen los familiares de la persona fallecida, al incurrir en erogaciones para que el sepulcro y el sepelio sean lo más lujosos posible. Por lo general, el mayor gasto se efectúa en la realización de suntuosas lápidas.

Mucho dinero desembolsan los familiares y los amigos en plantas y flores, que además deben retirarse del ataúd antes de cerrarlo, para que ello no intensifique la descomposición del cuerpo.

Algunos quieren a través de la litografía manifestar su respeto al difunto y la condolencia a sus familiares. Este método revela a veces superficialidad de sentimientos y engaño, ya que realmente la persona que sufre no va a publicar su sufrimiento. La condolencia se puede demostrar personalmente de una manera mucho más cálida.

Pero sea lo que fuere que hagamos, de lo mencionado más arriba, el difunto no va a recibir ningún beneficio.

Al cuerpo muerto le es lo mismo estar bajo una pobre o una suntuosa lápida, estar en un pobre o en un lujoso féretro, él no va a sentir la fragancia de las flores, y no necesita las demostraciones de dolor fingidas. El cuerpo se somete a la descomposición, el alma vive, pero no percibe más las sensaciones que apreciaban antes sus órganos corporales.

Si realmente queremos al difunto, y verdaderamente queremos ofrecerle nuestras dádivas, entonces debemos darle lo que el necesita. Antes que nada, entregarle nuestras sinceras oraciones personales hogareñas al Señor, las oraciones a través de los oficios del Responso en la Iglesia, y muy en especial la conmemoración del difunto en la Divina Liturgia.

Otro beneficio muy importante que podemos brindarle al alma — es la realización de dádivas o donaciones. Alimentar al hambriento en nombre del difunto, ayudar al indigente, es lo mismo que hacerlo con el.

Santa Atanasia, cuya festividad se conmemora el 12 de abril, antes de fallecer, encomendó que se les diera de comer a los indigentes en su memoria durante 40 días, sin embargo las monjas del convento lo cumplieron solo durante 9 días.

Por lo cual la santa se les apareció junto a dos ángeles y les dijo “¿Porque Uds. se olvidaron de mi legado? Sepan que las donaciones y las oraciones de los sacerdotes, dadas en nombre del difunto durante 40 días atraen la misericordia de Dios”: si el alma del difunto fue pecadora, el Señor les da el perdón de los pecados, y si es que ella fue justa, entonces las personas que rezan por ella van a ser recompensadas con beneficios”

En particular, en estos días difíciles para todos, es una locura gastar dinero inútilmente para adquirir elementos superfluos, cuando, al aplicarlos en la asistencia a los indigentes, se pueden realizar dos buenas obras, una para el difunto, y otra para el necesitado.

Si se le da alimento a un necesitado, con oración en memoria del difunto, el necesitado se va a satisfacer corporalmente, y el difunto va a quedar satisfecho espiritualmente.