Message from Metropolitan Alexios
My Beloved Ones,
As we continue through the Triodion, I call upon all of us to reflect on the spiritual exercises that we have been given so far to help us as prepare for our Lenten journey.
As an athlete does not compete without first preparing him or herself physically, the Church Fathers have given us the Triodion as a form of “spiritual exercise” for the 40 days of Great Lent, which can feel like a marathon—especially for those who are not ready.
Just what are these spiritual exercises? In the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, we understand what it means to be truly humble before God. From the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we are meant to recall repentance and forgiveness: both the eternal forgiveness of our Father, as well as the need to forgive our own brother. And this week, with the Parable of the Last Judgement, we are asked to think about what it truly means to love our neighbor.
Our Lord teaches us that when He returns in all His glory, He will divide the world into the sheep, on His right, and the goats on His left. The sheep He will welcome into His Father’s Kingdom—for they gave Him shelter and greeted Him as a stranger; they offered Him food and drink; they clothed Him, visited Him in prison, and nursed Him to health. To the goats on His left he will echo these things, which they did not do. And both the sheep and goats alike, will be astonished—for when did they meet the King of All? And the King shall respond, that if they took in the least of their brothers and sisters—or if they saw suffering and passed it by—they have treated Christ the same.
Consider that these choices play out in our world every day. Therefore, will we also be called to account for that which we did or did not do—and we will receive our reward. However, far from fear of punishment, or cherishing the possibility of a reward, we should consider what behavior would Christ have shown. If we are to truly emulate the Life and Teachings of our Lord, the example has already been given to us over the last three weeks: repentance, seeking our Father, and forgiveness. “You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).
Truly, these Christian principles are valuable, not only during Great Lent, but through the rest of “the race” that is our life here on this earth.
Metropolitan of Atlanta
Youth, Education and Hellenic Culture
For information on Policies for the Safety of Youth and Children, please click this link! Please remember that all parishes must comply and sign their parish contracts by December 1 to host any youth ministry programs or events on the parish level (Sunday School) or to participate on a District or Metropolis Level Events (Retreats, WYR & HDF).
For Youth activities like Winter Youth Rally, HDF, or the Connect Conference, click this link!
Family Life Ministry
A growing branch of Family Life Ministry and generously powered by Leadership 100, Engage Orthodoxy is a place for anyone to find Orthodox Christian Content curated by a thoughtful and intentional administrative team.
“Engage Orthodoxy” is not only the name of this new site, but it is also the name of a movement away from division and towards unity. Engage Orthodoxy is a movement towards community, involvement, Orthodox friendships, and relationships. EO seeks to bring the the faithful, the curious, the lost, and the searching TOWARDS their faith and Christ and in turn, towards each other. Engage Orthodoxy is a movement forward into the future of the faith. Join us as we move toward Christ, toward each other, and toward the church.
For more information, or to order “Woven: An Interactive Book for the Modern Teenage Girl on Orthodox Christianity” please visit, woveninhislove.org
We also share with you helpful links from the OCN and the Family Life Ministry of the Metropolis of Atlanta.
Journey of Marriage (Pre-Marital Seminar)
All couples marrying in the Metropolis must attend a Metropolis-sponsored Journey of Marriage seminar prior to their wedding. The couple will present their certificate of completion to their parish priest after the seminar.
- Saturday, Feb 22 - Holy Trinity Church, Orlando, FL
To see the full list of seminars in Florida and in our entire Metropolis for 2019 and beyond, and to register, please visit: http://www.familylifeministry.atlanta.goarch.org/upcoming-events-2/
Registration is online. Materials costs are included in the registration.
The Strategic Plan
Have you gone to the atlstrategicplan.org website to find completed materials covering Stewardship or Outreach, Best Educational Materials or Youth Worker Training?
Now you can watch videos in each of these 4 areas to learn from the experts!
Workshops at the 2019 Metropolis Clergy-Laity Assembly in Jacksonville, Florida on these topics were videotaped to provide additional materials to help parishes in these areas.
The Stewardship Training video can be found here: https://atlstrategicplan.org/home/completed-goal-materials/9-1-comprehensive-stewardship-program
The Best Education Materials Training video can be found here: https://atlstrategicplan.org/home/completed-goal-materials/4-1-best-education-materials/
The Outreach, Evangelism, and Philanthropy Training video can be found here: https://atlstrategicplan.org/home/completed-goal-materials/7-1-outreach-evangelism-and-philanthropy
The Youth Worker Program Training Video can be found here: https://atlstrategicplan.org/home/completed-goal-materials/11-2-youth-worker-program/
Take a look at the online portal.
Vist www.atlstrategicplan.org/portal to view a list of the completed goals.