Orthodox Dialogue and Flooding in Louisiana

Orthodox Dialogue and Flooding in Louisiana


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church. I’m Emmy Louvaris. These are some of the stories making headlines Friday, August 26, 2016
1. Meeting between OCA and traditionalist Anglicans is held

2. Baton Rouge Orthodox Church Damaged by Louisiana Floods

3. IOCC Providing Comfort, Cleanup Assistance

Meeting between OCA and traditionalist Anglicans is held

First Up, from HUNTINGTON, NY, meetings between the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] and the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA] were held on August 17-18th. The mission of this joint effort the Dialogue Committee said, “Is to honor the past while building our relationship and encouraging our mutual missions in North America”.

The ACNA entered into informal conversations with the OCA, shortly after its establishment in 2009.

On Wednesday, August 17, His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania delivered the main dialogue paper, titled “The Universe of Christian Discourse,” which set out to reestablish a common methodology and vocabulary for fruitful and reconciliatory discussions.

Priest John Parker, Chair of the OCA’s Department of Evangelization, and ACNA Bishop Keith Ackerman both delivered individual talks on a similar topic, the holy priesthood from their own Orthodox Christian and Anglican perspectives.

Protopresbyter OCA Director of External Affairs, Leonid Kishkovsky, offered a perspective on the June 2016 Orthodox Council held in Crete.

“The OCA conversations with the ACNA are valuable because we are discovering significant theological affinities as well as identifying some significant theological differences,” Father Leonid said.

On Thursday, August 18th, Metropolitan Tikhon welcomed ACNA Primate Archbishop Foley Beach and members of his delegation at the OCA Chancery.

The second day objective was to take part in warm and fraternal conversation, both personal and ecclesiastical, including mutual introductions and the exchange of perspectives on common pastoral challenges in 21st century America.

Baton Rouge Orthodox Church Damaged by Louisiana Floods

And next up, the summer of 2016 will go down in infamy as more flood-causing storms hit the southern United States causing more deaths and devastation. While West Virginia is still recovering and rebuilding from its July “One in a Thousand Year Event”, Louisiana is trying to do the same from, what is being called, America’s worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy. Heavy hitting storms caused widespread flooding by August 12th but coverage didn’t really begin until August 14th. By then Baton Rouge and surrounding areas were being ravaged by the rising waters. At least 13 people are dead, and another 30,000 have been forced from their flooded homes and into shelters.

Dubbed as one of the largest US disasters, the Red Cross estimates it will take at least $30 million to recover.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Baton Rouge was four feet under water. “Fr. Anthony Monteleone, Proistamenos of Holy Trinity Church in Baton Rouge, LA , expressed his gratitude that no loss of life or injuries had been experienced by his parishioners. However, his church building has suffered heavy water damage…”

Until the church is repaired, Fr. Anthony and the Parish Council are making plans for Sunday services at another location.

If you are interested in helping Holy Trinity with flood disaster relief, contact the National Philoptochos Society www.philoptochos.org or log onto holytrinitygreekorthodoxchurchbatonrouge.org. Or send a check to Pay to the Order of Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos, c/o Dee Nicolaou, 27242 Breakers Drive. Wesley Chapel, Florida 33544

IOCC Providing Comfort, Cleanup Assistance

And where there is a disaster you can be assured that IOCC is there to assist with support. On the ground in Southern Louisiana, IOCC is has been providing help to victims of the catastrophic flooding.

IOCC’s Frontliners, their Emergency Response Network, are in the hardest hit areas around Baton Rouge, continually assessing the immediate and ongoing needs of families as well as providing cleanup assistance and crisis counseling. “Everywhere you look there is destruction,” said Father Serge Veselinovich, an IOCC Frontliner and Orthodox priest. “We have met dozens of families who have lost everything – their homes, their possessions, their cars and their livelihoods – but not their faith. We are doing what we can to console them and determine the best way to assist with cleanup and recovery so that with God’s grace these families can resume their lives as quickly as possible.”

To learn more about IOCC, and to help the victims of disasters in the United States, like the Louisiana and West Virginia floods, visit iocc.org for more information on making a financial gift to the United States Emergency Response Fund.

News from OCN

And in News from OCN, “The Prayer Team”, a daily devotion which includes a verse from scripture, commentary and short prayer to match the topic is written by Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis and can be accessed on our Home page under the “Read” tab.

Although started as an opportunity to write more on the subject of prayer, it has now branched into many other subjects including scripture passages and on “Praying the Liturgy.” Be sure to visit myocn.net for your daily dose of the Prayer Team!

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That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. Wishing you a Blessed Week, from everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.



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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.