From the Pastor

Our Holy Orthodox Church

Fundamental to the definition of a church are certain hallmarks which maintain that what is believed is everywhere, always, and by all. This means that the Orthodox Church as it spread throughout the world, is known by three particular marks: whatever is believed and taught in it has authority of the Scriptures, a universal tradition of continuity over centuries without changes in doctrine, and proper usage.  We as faithful, recognize the teachings of the Church rather than a private theory of one person or a movement. Thus, clergy and faithful have a unanimity of faith and belief. These, clergy and faithful who make up the Church throughout the world, give it a universality, diffused throughout the world.

We resemble on a world level, something akin to the United States of America.  We in America, are made up of different states but one nation.  The Orthodox Church throughout the world could be characterized as states in the various parts yet we make up the whole of Orthodoxy. As there are different customs and traditions in the various states but align with the federal laws, so too, Orthodoxy throughout the world has a variety of expressions but the same doctrines and faith.

We can be assured that what we hear taught in one part of the globe is the same as what we would hear in another. Our Church does not say one thing publicly and another privately. All over the world, in the Orthodox Church, whatever is confessed, taught, believed and lived is in accordance with what has been for centuries. All of her teachings are taught with humility and love for God and our neighbor. The Church persuades by reason and not decree.

The universality and authority of the Church is found in the seven ecumenical councils of the first eight centuries of Church life when Christianity was one over the then known world. As these councils defined the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Theotokos, icons and other issues, the Orthodox Church has held these since that time without change or alteration. The interpretation and definitions given at these councils and maintained by saintly forebears since, is the norm for our Church. We recognize today and honor those teachings and continue to do so. This succession of teachings and the dogmas and doctrines are uninterrupted and the continuity unbroken.

Another aspect of our Holy Orthodox Church is that we hold in this tradition is believed by all Orthodox faithful. In whatever part of the world she finds herself, the Orthodox Church maintains by consensus the teachings and traditions. The consensus as proven time and again, is not simply clergy who hold it all together, but the lay person has to agree the teaching is proper and within the boundaries of our faith.

Thus, in her prayer life and devotion, the Orthodox Church asks for humility, forgiveness and perseverance to maintain the faith as handed to us by other generations. These prayers are in conformity with apostolic tradition. And has been in the life of Orthodox Christians believers; past and present. Proper principles of our faith are found in Holy Scripture, in practice, in tradition, in her hymnology, in her creed of faith, and maintained as handed from past generations.

This is basically who we are. May the New Year bring to each of us a renewal of faith in our hearts, souls and minds to the glory of God, His Son our Lord and Savior and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Happy and blessed New Year.

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