The Discovering Orthodoxy online catechesis has now been launched by the London School of Orthodox Christian Studies, and the course website can be visited at www.discoveringorthodoxy.org
The first two units available to any visitors to the site, but a user account system will be implemented over the course of this week and so that only registered students will be able to access future units. This is to allow the provision of proper support to those engaged in catechesis. Registered students will receive their account details before the next unit is published.
Several other units are already in production. The next unit to be published will be Beginning with Church History which will be presented by H.E. Metropolitan Seraphim. Father Peter Farrington is producing a unit looking at the evidence for our faith in God.
There are over 800 students registered for the Discovering Orthodox online catechesis from around the world. This is truly a global and pan-Orthodox and ecumenical project. The long term target throughout 2013 is to produce 50 interesting units of study, and to have registered 2000 students.
Each of the units will contain a short written introduction which will include some important references from the Fathers of the Church relevant to the topic. The main content will be a video/audio presentation by one of the course contributors. Followed by a short Bible study on the topic. There will be a few simple questions just to allow us to make sure that the learning material is working and you have understood the topic.
There are over 200 topics for which we material is being planned, and this phase of the project will take several years to complete. It is hoped to produce a serious and useful library of resources that will remain helpful to Orthodox Christians and those interested in the Orthodox Faith.
H.E Metropolitan Seraphim says of this project..
Catechesis is an essential component of the church’s ministry and I warmly support this latest initiative of the London School of Orthodox Studies. A commitment to sharing the Apostolic faith and tradition is not only a witness to the catholicity of the Orthodox Church but also a precious token of love to those of other Christian traditions or none. In each generation our fathers have faced the challenges of their Age but this inexhaustible spiritual nourishment has never failed to sustain and strengthen those who feast on it.
This year’s Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Reception, held at Lambeth Palace on 28 November, marked the retirement of the Most Rev’d Rowan Williams from the See of Canterbury. Abba Seraphim and Father Peter Farrington were among the many ecumenical guests attending to show their appreciation for the past decade of Dr. Williams’s ministry. The evening began with Common Worship Evening Prayer conducted in the Archbishop’s Chapel at which Dr. Williams preached the homily, followed by a Reception in the Guard Room, organised by the Nikaean Club. Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford introduced the archbishop with an entertaining and anecdotal speech, following which Dr. Williams spoke of the considerable progress and deepening of ecumenical relationships over the past few decades and how it would continue to have increasing influence in the future.
On 22 November Abba Seraphim, Father Peter Farrington and Reader Trevor Maskery attended the annual Constantinople Lecture held at Lambeth Palace. This year’s lecture was delivered by His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK & Ireland, on the subject, “The New Testament Apocrypha and The Armenian Church Canon of the Bible.” The lecture, which was organised by the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association in conjunction with the Nikaean Club, was preceded by Choral Evensong in the Archbishop’s Chapel for St. Cecilia’s Day. Following the lecture all those present sat down for supper in the Palace’s Guard Room .
The full text of Bishop Vahan’s talk is published in the current issue of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association journal, Koinonia, New Series No. 60 (All Saintstide 2012)
The new series of monthly meetings under the auspices of the British Orthodox London Mission at Shadwell got off to a good start with a well-attended session on The Didache on 18 October. This was the first of an Introductory Course of Study and Discussion of the earliest Patristic sources under the title, “The Apostolic Fathers.” Abba Seraphim led the discussion and study and Father Peter Farrington will follow up with the second in the series on “St. Ignatius of Antioch” on Thursday, 15 November at 7.30 p.m.
The British Orthodox London Mission of SS George & St. Paul meets at St. George-in-the-East, Cannon Street Road, London, E1 0BH (nearest station Shadwell DLR). The next Liturgy will be on Saturday, 3 November, the day before the Altar Ballot in Cairo to select the new Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria.
On the evening of Thursday 11 October, Fr. Peter Farrington and Subdeacon Daniel Malyon represented the British Orthodox Church at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. This was held at Heythrop College and organised by the Society for Ecumenical Studies. The event involved talks by the Most Rev’d Kevin McDonald, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, and the Rev’d Dr James Hawkey, a Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey, on the state of ecumenism in the fifty years following the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church.
Archbishop Kevin Mcdonald looked at his experiences working with the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (later renamed The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity). He covered key parts of the development of Rome’s Ecumenical relationships with the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans as well as a number of protestant groups. He then went on to discuss the Roman Catholic policy towards other religions, especially Judaism. The talk was well received due to its in-depth detail and the relevance of his experience in the field.
This was followed by Rev’d Dr James Hawkey, who responded to the talk by highlighting the gains and challenges to be faced in the future of the movement. This talk also looked at the social challenges we are facing as Christian communities, such as the varying approaches to secularism and the vastly changing modern society.
The two talks were followed by observations from Methodist and United reformed Church ministers and some very well thought out questions from the audience which tackled the issues of the role of women in Roman Catholicism, inter-faith dialogue and grass-roots responses to the Ecumenical movement. These reminded us again of the many issues facing all Christian communities in the modern world.
Altogether, the night was extremely educational and informative for all there, from those who have been involved in ecumenical relations for decades to those who are new to the concept. It also demonstrated the willingness of the Christian Community to come together and work to understand each other and our shared Christian faith without compromising on their own values and practices, which is the key value of the movement itself.
- 12 December 2013
- Evening Prayer & Discussion: Shadwell7.30pm Evening Prayer
7.45pm Talk and discussion
- 14 December 2013
- Morning Incense & Divine Liturgy: PortsmouthMorning Incense & Divine Liturgy 10am
- 15 December 2013
- Morning Prayer: BournemouthMorning Prayer: 9.30am
- Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: DoncasterRaising of Incense – 9:45am
Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
- Southampton: Morning PrayerMorning Prayer (10.00) (Holy Trinity Church)