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SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS] – Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here will host its annual Continuing Clergy Education Symposium June 17-19, 2014. This is the second year that the school will provide this symposium to assist OCA priests and deacons in fulfilling their 20 hours of continuing education studies mandated each year by the Holy Synod of Bishops.

The list of speakers and topics to be included in this year’s symposium includes the following.

1) “Spiritual Life in Saint Silouan the Athonite,” by Christopher Veniamin, D. Phil. (Oxon.), Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon’s Seminary – Tuesday afternoon, June 17, at 1:00 p.m. This presentation will examine the spiritual life of the great 20th century Athonite Saint – specifically: humility, peace, the will of God, and freedom. The aim of the study is to present something of the ethos of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition, in a way that helps identify that which distinguishes it from every other philosophy, religion and creed. It is hoped, moreover, that the lessons learned will be directly applicable to one’s everyday life.

2) “The Greeting of Mary and Elizabeth: The Sanctity of Life,” by Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Practice, Director of Field Education at St. Tikhon’s Seminary –Tuesday evening, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. An exegesis of Luke 1:39-56 serves as a foundation for pastoral ministry, based on the joy experienced by the Theotokos and Elizabeth. This lecture will develop the need for ministry to pregnant unwed mothers, and the necessary consoling and embrace by the Church of older women in time of crisis. An explanation of the Icon of the Greeting of Mary and Elizabeth will be related to the moral crisis in America and the need for the intercession of the Theotokos in a post-Christian culture.

3) “Prayer as Communion – Personal and Liturgical Prayer,” by Igumen Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Lecturer in Spirituality at the Seminary – Wednesday morning, June 18, at 9:00 a.m. The Fathers always linked salvation with prayer. However, how we understand prayer has a direct effect on how we pray. Using the patristic foundation of prayer as communion, we will look to contemporary saints to increase our appreciation for prayer’s place in the Church and its necessity in our own life; to gain renewed zeal for our own prayer life; and to deepen our understanding of the treasures the Church offers us, through her liturgical life, by which we may present Christ to the world.

4) “Orthodox Insights into the Book of Revelation,” by Mary Ford, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament at St. Tikhon’s Seminary – Wednesday afternoon, June 18, at 1:00 p.m. This lecture will focus on explaining and giving a correct interpretation for three of the most commonly misinterpreted aspects of The Revelation of John. Those three aspects are: the book’s primary purpose; the Antichrist and 666; and the “rapture.” In the process, the presentation will demonstrate what an inspiring, encouraging book Revelation actually is!

5) “Encouraging People to Seek Help from the Saints in Times of Suffering” – by David Ford, Ph.D., Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon’s Seminary – Thursday morning, June 19, at 9:00 a.m. This presentation will emphasize the importance for all Orthodox Christians of the Saints – through their examples, prayers, and ongoing presence in our midst – in helping us to bear sufferings, sorrow, and persecution with magnanimity and graciousness. Special attention will be given to St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Saints Timothy and Maura, St. John Chrysostom, St. Photios the Great, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Saints Stephen and Angelina Brankovich, and St. Silouan of Mt. Athos.

6) “Clergy Health – Achieving the Proper Balance, by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, D.Min., Dean and Associate Professor of Pastoral Arts and Practice at St. Tikhon’s Seminary – Thursday afternoon, June 19, at 1:00 p.m. “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” (I Pet. 3:8) Pastoral care for our faithful as pastors is greatly impacted by the depth of our own spiritual journey as it relates to manifesting compassion and love. This course will be exploring pastoral compassion and love as both renewable and precious resources that need to be carefully tended in our own life and within our family, in order that those resources may be available to the persons to whom we are called to minister.

All courses are available for Clergy Continuing Education credit, as approved by Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar. The cost, which includes lecture registration, room and board, is $100.00 per person.


SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 17:

11:00 a.m. Registration in the seminary office

12:15 p.m. Lunch in the seminary refectory

1:00 p.m. Afternoon Lecture: “Spiritual Life in Saint Silouan the Athonite,” Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics

4:30 p.m. Vespers in the monastery church

5:30 p.m. Dinner in the seminary refectory

6:30 p.m. Evening Lecture: “The Greeting of Mary and Elizabeth: The Sanctity of Life,” by Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education


Wednesday, June 18:

7:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in the monastery church

8:30 a.m. Breakfast in the seminary refectory

9:00 a.m. Morning Lecture: “Prayer as Communion – Personal and Liturgical Prayer,” by Igumen Sergius, Abbot of St.Tikhon’s Monastery

12:15 p.m. Lunch in the seminary refectory

1:00 p.m. Afternoon Lecture: “Orthodox Insights into the Book of Revelation,” by Dr. Mary Ford, Associate Professor of New Testament

4:30 p.m. Vespers in the monastery church

6:00 p.m. Banquet and Fellowship, in the seminary refectory


Thursday, June 19:

7:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in the monastery church

8:30 a.m. Breakfast in the seminary refectory

9:00 a.m. Morning Lecture: “Encouraging People to Seek Help from the Saints in Times of Suffering,” by Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History

12:15 p.m. Lunch in the seminary refectory

1:00 p.m. Afternoon Lecture: “Clergy Health – Achieving the Proper Balance,” by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary


Registrations can be made by phone at the seminary’s main number 570-561-1818 or may be sent by e-mail to Sophia Pierce, Seminary Receptionist, sophia.pierce@stots.edu .

Additional information about St. Tikhon’s Seminary, including maps and directions, may be found at the Seminary’s web site, www.stots.edu .

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