- I can only write about the Seminarians in the American Diocese. I am
familiar with most of them and I am confident that many of the
churches here have benefited from the talents of these Seminarians.
We have had discussions in this forum, as far back as October 2006
posting #13951, about the growing number of Seminarians in this
country. Now some of the seminarians have become deacons and even an
achen. Dallas area churches have their own deacon to guide the youth
of their area,appointed by H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas.
Unfortunately, except for a few churches the churches of the diocese
have not recognized the value of these Seminarians and taken steps to
help them financially. The two Seminaries that I am familiar with, St.
Tikhon and St. Vladimir, both have extended their hand in teaching our
children. St.Tikhon even has a student from Nagpur Seminary with full?
The needs of the US seminarians are not the same as the ones in
India. Those, US members of ICON who need to know what they can do for
the Seminarians can read ICON letters from Seminarians, past and
present, to see how you can help them. You can even talk to the Dallas
area Vicars to see how they are using Deacon Matt and how they are
supporting him in his ministry.
I have had the privilege of knowing some of the seminarians from the
early days of the family conference. Now I enjoy their sermons and
their presence in the Altar. I hope some day we will have a
scholarship fund for every seminarian of our church. BTW, if you are
not aware, one of our deacons, Dn. Philip Mathew is the Director of
Admissions at Vladimir Seminary in NY. Did you know Ms. Ceena Varghese,daughter of Rev.Fr.K.P.Varghese is a seminarian at Vladimir? Dear readers, we can write all we want. I have realized that these young
Christians will march on despite our negligence of their welfare.
- Wonderful message, and it should be noted that extreme gratitude and
appreciation should be given to Barnabas and Nicholovas Thirumeni as
well for their support of all the Seminarians. More and more
responsibility is being given to these selfless men and woman
Supporting the Church and all those who are serving is a must. Even
if it's as little as $10, please send your tax-deductible
contributions with the memo of 'Seminary Fund' to the American Diocese
office, and they will get distributed properly.
Address is below!
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Inc.,
80-34 Commonwealth Blvd.,
Bellerose, NY 11426
As a Church, over the past hundred years or so we have grown
apathetic, disillusioned and insensitive ... perhaps THIS season of
Great Lent will awaken us and we will see all the resources that God
has provided to us.
St Gregorios/Oak Park, IL
- It is heartening to see that many promising young people are coming forward to serve our church. At the same time we also do know that we are losing many members because of various reasons. It would be beneficial if some of the seminarians doing graduate level research identify some if not all reasons as to why this exodus is happening, the magnitude of the loss, and what we can do to halt this trend.
I feel that it is not too early for us to have a definite plan and vision to place these new seminarians who are undergoing their training in various locations when they are ordained as priests in the next few years.
St. Gregorios Church
- There's no need of a thesis study to understand why people are leaving
- it's simply lack of knowledge.
All throughout the living Church, we give the message to young and old
that as long as people come to an Indian Orthodox Church on Sunday,
everything is OK. We keep telling people it's OK not to understand
the language, and that it's OK to feel bored during the service ... as
long as they are in the building.
This is not Christian teaching, let alone Orthodox teaching. And yet,
we allow the ignorance to continue.
Is it any surprise when people - young and old! - leave the Church for
others that "feel" more Christian? At the heart, people are reacting
to what they believe is right ... it should really pain us not only
that these believers are leaving, but we are unable to bring them back
because of our own limitations.
Other Orthodox denominations are growing because there is a renewed
focus on teaching - both young and old! Ancient Faith Radio
(ancientfaith.com) is a testimony to the emphasis other denominations
are putting into spreading the Word. But, in our case, most education
stops with Sunday school and even there it's arguable how much is learned.
Clearly everyone has a role - bishops, priests, deacons, parents,
students ... and everyone has to help each other. Honestly, our
Indian Orthodox Church has to rediscover and embrace our Orthodox roots.
St Gregorios/Oak Park, IL
- Dear Jose and all:
An interesting article was posted on the same topic just a few days ago on the lost 60% on Orthodoxy Today here:
I too would like to see any academic research into our own American Diocese as well. That need not be exclusively a project of the seminarians. They each have their own unique talents individually and are training very particularly to be the next generation of American clergy. Perhaps a good idea would be for the Diocesan Metropolitans and Council to appoint a Research Bureau of qualified statistics and mathematics professionals within the Diocese to standardize methods of determining population trends (births, immigration, conversion, family size, etc.) and subsequently publish their findings.
That is just a thought.