The Department of Missions and Evangelism
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Connecting The Gospel To Our Daily Lives
The Department of Missions and Evangelism has, since its inception, been devoted primarily to the establishment of new mission parishes, and training for clergy to become proficient in the administration of the sacraments. It seems that the time has come for our Department to shift its focus to helping save the souls of our own parishioners who are in need of spiritual renewal. Given the present climate of intolerance or outright hostility toward the Christian Faith in our
culture, and the ever-increasing decline in attendance and membership of virtually every Christian denomination in this country, “holding our own” is winning! Statistically, the Orthodox Church is one of only two Christian bodies in North America that is not in numerical decline, but our hierarchs are telling us that our parishes need healing and strengthening in order to avoid the same fate. One of the Metropolitan’s primary roles is to make sure the priest assigned to each parish in his oversight, presents the Orthodox Faith and preaches the Word of God, but neither he, nor the local diocesan bishop can be everywhere at the same time, and they don’t have the time to train
them. Many of the priests have not received adequate training in this area of homiletics while at seminary, and so there is a need to send preachers into these parishes, not only to bring our own people to repentance and spiritual renewal, but also to train and encourage these pastors who need help in becoming better preachers. The Department of Missions and Evangelism proposes to effectively coordinate sending
individuals or teams of preachers and teachers into these needy parishes with specific topics and
materials to cover. Then, from a local environment of spiritual health and vitality, the Department could train, help, and encourage our parish clergy, readers, chanters, and lay leaders to promote Orthodox Christian evangelism, outreach, and charitable ministry in their communities, and begin new chapels and missions in nearby, ex-urban, and rural localities. In other words, the growth of the Church would be stemming from within the life of a healthy parish, rather than depending upon interest and curiosity coming to us from outside the Church.
"He who does not know the truth cannot truly have faith; for by nature knowledge precedes faith. What is said in Scripture is said not solely for us to understand, but also for us to act upon." St. Hesychios the Priest
St Nikolai of Zica (Velimirovic) (1880-1956) has been called the "Serbian Chrysostom" for his theological depth and golden-tongued eloquence.
In this downloadable pdf file, you can cross reference St. Nikolai's homilies from the Prologue of Ohrid to the gospel/epistle of the day.
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