Icon of 'Christ the Teacher'
This section of our website, About Orthodoxy, contains a wealth of information on the Orthodox Christian Faith, the Great Feasts and Fasts of the Church, and many of her greatest saints, including many that have shone forth in North America.
Especially for Inquirers - Updated for 2022:
VIDEOS ADDED FOR 2022 — Scroll down this page for a rich selection of videos, books and websites ideal for those new to Orthodoxy. Featuring titles and resources for seekers coming from a variety of backgrounds, whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, or non-Christian, this page provides numerous starting points for your journey. And be sure to contact Father Steven with questions and to join our Catechetical Classes.
NEW VIDEOS ADDED FOR 2022 — Dozens of pages with hundreds of helpful articles and resources on the Great Feasts, the practice of Fasting in the Orthodox Church, with special emphasis on Great Lent, Holy Week, and the Paschal period, plus much more.
Saints of the Orthodox Church:
UPDATES & VIDEOS ADDED FOR 2022 — These unique pages introduce numerous saints of the Church, with special emphasis to those who have shown forth in North America. Extensive special resource pages on St Herman of Alaska and St John of San Francisco crown this section. We continue to expand our Great Saints section, having added a major new page dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker in 2021, and in early 2022 a special page dedicated to St Nektarios of Aegina the Wonderworker, which includes resources on the powerful new film about him, MAN OF GOD.
UPDATED FOR 2022 — Monasticism is essential to the authentic Christian Life, and our parish enjoys close ties to several Orthodox monasteries in the region; we make an annual pilgrimage each Summer to one or another of them. One of our former parishioners is a nun at a monastery in Western Pennsylvania. This unique section provides numerous features and articles on the central role of monasticsm in the life of the Church. Includes videos, plus a special section on Mount Athos, Greece, which for over a thousand years has been the spiritual and monastic center of Orthodoxy.
Welcome to a very special section of our parish website,
especially for seekers and inquirers new to the Orthodox Christian Faith.
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Amen, Amen, AMEN!
Praying with Icons, by Jim Forest - Easy to read & helps one understand the importance of prayer & contemplation. Highly recommended for anyone looking to increase his prayer life and most especially to converts. Available new from amazon.com starting at $10.99.
Praying with the Orthodox Tradition, by Bishop Kallistos Ware - For anyone looking to develop discipline in prayer throughout the day. Bishop Kallistos' introduction is a classic text. Only $10 at amazon.com.
The Jesus We Missed ~ The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ, by Fr Patrick Henry Reardon - Fr Patrick takes us on a journey "through the Gospel narratives to discover the real Jesus." Profound insights into Jesus as he "grew in wisdom and understanding" and what it means that he "came to redeem and sanctify every aspect of every human life." Available new from amazon.con starting at $8.30. Available for Kindle and iPad.
The Twelve Great Feasts for Children (preschool age & up) by Sister Elayne (now Mother Melania) - About $7 per book or special prices if you buy a few all together. "We ordered the Nativity of our Lord & it was awesome. The kids enjoyed it." There is a special Three Day Pascha series covering Great and Holy Friday, Great and Holy Saturday, and Pascha Sunday, for $17.95.
For those who may be approaching Orthodoxy from the East...
Way of the Ascetics - This thin volume is a modern classic on the Orthodox spiritual and ascetical life. Distilled from the Philokalia and other much larger and more daunting compilations, Way of the Ascetics clarifies the path of theosis for the seeker after Christ. This should be in every Orthodox Christian's library, and is the ideal practical companion to any of the four books listed above. Paperback, 110 pages. $14.00 - St Vladimir's Seminary Press. • iBooks (epub) and Kindle (mobi) editions available.
Fr Andrew Stephen Damick is a prolific author and speaker, and presented a spiritual retreat for us in Autumn 2016. You can listen to those talks on our retreat archive page.
Fr Andrew is attached to and serves at St Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
Essence of a Spiritual Community
In this egalitarian and beautiful environment with its 2000 year history and traditions we are humbled and are able to let go of our egotistical nature and seek mercy from God. We praise and glory Him with prayers and hymns. We are surrounded with others who share our belief and quest to become united with Him and supported in His teaching that to love God we must love all those gathered with us as well as our enemies. In this gathering we feel connected and one with each other as well as God. We feel nourished, secure, and peaceful in our hearts. We experience a true sense of community that cannot be found in any other way except through our common relationship with God.
St. Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 376-444) writes the following about the reason we all come together in this place of worship:
The below titles can also greatly help Orthodox Christians find words and examples to share our faith, and our conviction that the Orthodox Christian Church is the fullness of the Christian Faith, and the True Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Used by Father Steven in our Catechetical Classes...
Often used for Orthodox catechism classes, the series covers Doctrine, Worship, Bible and Church History, and Spirituality. The online version features easy to follow links to navigate by topic or read straight through. Printer-friendly format available. Order the books from SVS Press here.
If you have questions or are seeking further reading, please contact our pastor, Fr. Steven Kostoff.
From the JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY site:
If you are a non-Orthodox lay person interested in the Orthodox faith, our Network of current inquires and past converts will help you answer those pesky questions, and deprogram from the very issues that have troubled you.
If you are a non-Orthodox clergyman, professional, chaplain, missionary or person in a leadership position whose spiritual journey has led you to contemplate the Orthodox faith, JTO exists because we’ve been there! It is a well worn path to the Orthodox Church, and it requires reflection, fellowship, and a gut-wrenching search for the Truth.
Numerous topical sections especially suited for newcomers to Orthodoxy, including:
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