Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will offer four courses to the general public starting in September 1 and 2, 2015. The classes, which offer non-degree students opportunities to increase their knowledge about the Orthodox Christian faith, will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Prior coursework is not required. The classes will cover religious themes in film, liturgical space and practice, an exploration of the Book of Genesis, and spiritual life. Courses will run for ten weeks and may be audited or taken for one academic credit.
Peter C. Bouteneff, Ph.D., will offer Religious Themes in Film, which will analyze ways in which religious themes are treated—explicitly as well as implicitly—in modern film and other popular media. The class will meet on Wednesdays from 8:10 p.m.–9:25 p.m., beginning September 2.
Deacon Evan Freeman, Ph.D. candidate, will teach The Liturgical Space and Practice of Three Hierarchs Chapel, giving students an introduction to the liturgy, architecture, and sacred arts of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the context of the seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel. The class will meet on Tuesdays from 6:45 p.m.–8:00 p.m., beginning September 1.
In his course, Exploring Genesis, Archpriest Harry Pappas, Ph.D., will wrestle with pervasive questions surrounding faith and science, history and story, the nature of God, the mystery of Scripture, and the impact of literary genre through the foundational text of Genesis from the Torah of ancient Israel and the Christian Bible. The class will meet on Wednesdays from 6:45 p.m.–8:00 p.m., beginning September 2.
Archpriest John Behr, D.Phil., Dean, in his course titled Introduction to Spiritual Life, will introduce students to the life of the seminary, a life of deeper spiritual, liturgical, and intellectual engagement with the Christian faith. The course also will provide an occasion in which enrolled students can bring together the different elements of their formation—chapel, classroom, and library—in open discussion with the Dean and each other. The class will meet on Tuesdays from 8:10 p.m.–9:25 p.m., beginning September 1.
Course fees, which include registration, are $175.00 for audit, $588.00 for credit.
The word “pilgrimage” means “a journey of spiritual significance.”
And every year, the month of August proves to be significant for three monastic communities of the Orthodox Church in America observing their annual pilgrimages in conjunction their patronal feastdays.
The Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA, will celebrate its annual pilgrimage and patronal feast day on Wednesday and Thursday, August 5 and 6, 2015. The pilgrimage will open aith the celebration of Vigil and dinner at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. The following morning, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the outdoor pavilion at 9:30 a.m. The guest homilist will be His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Lunch will follow at noon. The Sacrament of Holy Unction with the anointing of pilgrims will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers at 6:00 p.m. Additional information is available here.
The New Skete Monasteries, Cambridge, NY, will celebrate its annual pilgrimage on Saturday, August 8. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m., after which a full day of events, including photo exhibits, talks, and other activities will be available, together with Greek and Lebanese food booths and a gift shop. At 1:15 p.m., Dr. Tony Vrame, this year’s guest speaker, will deliver a presentation titled “Does the Future have a Church?” A friend of the New Skete communities since the late 1980s, Dr. Vrame is Director of the Department of Religious Education for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Adjunct Associate Professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA. The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of a Healing Service with anointing at 4:45 p.m., followed by Vespers. A detailed flyer may be accessed here.
The 28th annual pilgrimage to the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery, Rives Junction, MI, will coincide with the celebration of the community’s patronal feast day Friday through Sunday, August 14-16. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will join His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate for the celebration of the festal Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. A complete schedule of the weekend’s many services is available here.
While the beginning of the new school year is just around the corner, the next few weeks will be filled with another round of camp and Vacation Church School programs. And we’d like to add photos of them to the on-line gallery.
Camp and VCS directors and participants are invited to send up to five  photos of their activities to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the gallery. Please indicate the name, location and dates of the program. Captions are not necessary.
The deadline for submitting photos is August 20, 2015.