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The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released a new study report focusing on Orthodox Christian Fellowship

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released a new study report. The report focuses on Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official collegiate campus ministry program of the Assembly. OCF plays a critical role in the lives of young Orthodox adults who study at US colleges and universities. Strong OCF chapters can provide a vital connection for youth to the Orthodox Church and stem the tide of students who leave the Orthodox Faith while in college. For the study, student leaders were surveyed in 130 OCF chapters. What types of challenges do OCF chapters face? What are their needs? What does it take to be a successful and vibrant OCF chapter? The report answers these and other questions from the viewpoints of active student OCF leaders. Read the full report HERE. Access summaries and links to all of the Assembly's research reports HERE.

Archbishop MARK's Message to the Diocese regarding the Synodal Affirmation of the Mystery of Marriage

His Eminence, MARK, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, has released a message in response to the United States Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriages. Read His Eminence's message HERE.

Two Finance Committee Recommendations Approved by Diocesan Council

The Diocesan Finance Committee, established by His Eminence, Archbishop MARK to investigate how the Diocese will continue to support the work of the Church made two recommendations to the Diocesan Council during their meeting on June 16. A report on the recommendations has been made available for review.


Attention All Diocesan Graduates, Parents of Graduates and Clergy with Graduates!

As the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) works on behalf of all Orthodox to connect students to Christ and His Church during college. Through its campus-based chapters, regional events and programs such as College Conference and Real Break, OCF engages Orthodox college students across the continent in fellowship, education, worship, and service.

His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has released a message regarding this endeavor. Please take a moment to review and submit your information. CLICK HERE TO VIEW

You can also submit the information directly to Orthodox Christian Fellowship HERE. 

Assembly of Bishops launches national study on giving in US parishes

An ongoing national study — “Exploring Orthodox Generosity: Giving in US Orthodox Parishes” — has been launched by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. “We need and invite as many pariticipants as possible,” said Alexei D. Krindatch, the Assembly’s Research Coordinator. “Both Orthodox clergy and laity are invited to take part in this unique project.”

The study is being conducted as an on-line survey and may be accessed here.

National Study of US Orthodox Churches

 Mr. Alexei Krindatch, Research Coordinator for the Assembly of Bishops, invites the parishes of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania to participate in a "National Study of US Orthodox Parishes."  You can review the survey questionnaire at THIS LINK.  Please share that link with other parishes and Orthodox Brethren and encourage their participation in the Study.  If you have any questions concerning this, please direct them to Mr. Krindatch.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

18th All American Council Announced

The 18th All American Council will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from July 20-24, 2015. The theme of the Council is "How to Expand the Mission." More information on this historic event can be found at THIS LINK

OCA Statute Revisions Available

The Holy Synod of Bishops recently blessed the general release of the revised Statute of the Orthodox Church in America for general review by the Church. The finalized revised Statute will be presented at the 18th All-American Council [AAC] in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 201 More information can be found on the OCA Website.

2015 FOCA Convention

In 2015 both the AAC and The FOCA's 89th Annual Convention will occur concurrently. For the latest information visit the FOCA Website.

Calling all youth and youth volunteers!

In the past, the OCA Department of Youth and Young Adult in conjunction with the Department of Christian Education was very successful in reaching hundreds of OCA youth and young adults at the All American Councils. We are bringing back the program in an attempt to reach out to our youth and help them to grow in the church and meet other Orthodox Christians from across the OCA. Click HERE for more information

Proposed Diocesan By-Laws - Please Review and Provide Feedback

UPDATED! February 28, 2015
Proposed Diocesan By-Laws have Been Updated - Please Review

Dear to God,
The Proposed Diocesan By-Laws have been on this website since September for your review and input in anticipation of presenting them to the Diocesan Assembly in January 2015.  They are substantially based on the Statutes of the Orthodox Church in America as it appears on the OCA website. We were recently informed by the Statutes Revision Committee that there has been at least one amendment and / or clarification to the Statutes at an All American Council several years ago which is not reflected in the online document.  His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel, chair of the Statutes Revision Committee prefers to speak of clarification rather than revision. Nevertheless, as there will be important clarifications made, it seems prudent to postpone approval of the Diocesan By-Laws until after the All American Council in Atlanta, GA, where the Revised Statutes will be presented.  The Proposed Diocesan By-Laws will then be reviewed and edited to include Revised Statutes approved in Atlanta in 2015.    Please send any feedback and/or suggestions to Bishop MARK.  As we know the Statutes of the OCA are the overriding Document and all Parish By-Laws must be in accord with the Statutes and have the Blessing of the Bishop to be valid.
Your unworthy father in Christ,

Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania

Proposed Parish By-Laws

Christ is in our midst!

Here you will find the "Proposed Template" for parishes desiring to adopt a set of By-Laws where there are none or update them in cases where the old By-Laws are incongruent with the Statutes of the OCA or simply out of date. We welcome feedback on these "Proposed Parish By-Laws."  Additionally, we encourage every parish to develop a Mission Statement for their parish and specifically identify ways they intend to fulfill their missionary calling and submit it to the Diocese for approval.

+ Mark, Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania


Diaconal Formation Program in Philadelphia is Announcing Enrollment for the Upcoming School Year

 Diaconal Formation Program of St. Tikhon's Seminary based in Phiadelphia, PA is open for enrollment for the Fall Semester 2015. The program immerses students in the life of the Orthodox Church through serving in the altar, singing in the choir, and studying Scripture, Church History, Liturgics, and Spirituality. The Diaconal Formation program meets every Saturday from September to December (Fall Semester) and January to May (Spring Semester). Completion of the course of studies fulfills the necessary academic requirements for ordination to the Holy Diaconate. (In accordance with Canon Law, all decisions regarding ordination rest with the diocesan hierarch.) Men among the laity interested in pursuing theological study, spiritual formation, and liturgical training, and sense they might be called to the diaconal ministry, are encouraged to consider applying to this program and seek guidance from their parish priest. Click here or on photo for flyer.


June Events at Agia Sophia

Events for July 2015 at the Agia Sophia Coffehouse have been updated. Thank you for your continued support!

Fr. Alexis Trader: Being Christian in a Post-Christian World

The following link will take you to a series of four guest posts from Fr. Alexis Trader, a priestmonk and spiritual father of Karakallou Monastery on the Holy Mountain, and author of In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord: An Orthodox Interpretation of the Gifts of the Spirit.

Fr. Alexis has recently released a new book and it is about his new book that he now writes.  CLICK HERE TO READ

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